Influences of cane length on the stability of stroke patients

Chun Liang Lu, Bing Yu, Jeffrey R. Basford, Marjorie E. Johnson, Kai Nan An

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of cane length on the standing and walking stability of stroke patients. Ten stroke patients were used as subjects and evaluated by using two different cane lengths based on the measurements of the distance from distal wrist crease to the ground (WC cane), and the distance from greater trochanter to ground (GT cane). Force plates were used to determine the center of pressure (COP). The maximum sways, the total travel distances, and the mean travel speeds of the COP were analyzed for each patient standing and walking with and without canes. It was found that the total travel distance and the mean travel speed of the COP in the medial-lateral (M-L) direction were significantly lower when standing with a cane than when standing without one. It was also found that the values of these parameters and the maximum sways of the COP in both anterior-posterior (A-P) and M-L directions were significantly lower when standing with the WC cane than when standing with the GT cane. No significant difference was found in the maximum M-L sway, the total travel distance, and the mean travel speed of the COP in walking. These results suggest that the standing stability of stroke patients is improved by using canes, especially by using a WC cane, although no significant influence of using canes on the walking stability was detected. Based on the results of this study, the vertical distance from the wrist crease to ground is recommended as the appropriate cane length for stroke patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-100
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Rehabilitation Research and Development
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1997


  • cane
  • posture
  • stability
  • stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation


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