Assistive Devices



  • Single-tipped: light weight, easily stored.
  • Quad: has four prongs, more stable, but more cumbersome
  • Canes should be used in the contralateral side.
  • Fitting: elbow with be in 25º of flexion when the tip of the cane is 6" in front and 6" lateral to the small toe.


  • More support than a cane, less than a walker
  • Wooden = economical. Aluminum = more expensive, better durability
  • Forearm crutches: only extend to the forearm,
  • Platform crutches: weight transfered through elbow and forearm. Useful for patients with wrist pathology.
  • Complications: generally related to improper fitting; axillary artery or venous thrombosis, brachial plexus palsy (radial nerve)
  • Fitting: top of the crutch should be 2" below the patient's armpits when the patient is standing. Hand pieces should be even with the hips and allow 25º of elbow flexion.


  • Provide the greatest support and balance.
  • Rolling walker require less energy to use, but require more patient control and balance.
  • Fitting: the hand grip should be positioned to allow 30º of elbow flexion in a neutral standing position.