How to Walk with a Cane after Hip Surgery? Precautions and Safety Concerns!

Hip surgeries are a major medical operation that is designed to help reduce pain and provide more freedom in your mobility. That said, the recovery process is often long and gruesome. In some situations, physical therapy may be required.

Canes are used by many patients who have undergone such an operation for added balance and support. This also evidently helps take some weight off the repaired hip.

Because a cane offers more freedom in movement than crutches, some patients prefer to use a cane. You must consult your physical therapist on which option is best suited for you before choosing one over the other.

Depending on your situation, you might have chosen to use a cane. If that is the case, keep reading to know more about its usage and how you can recover faster.

Using a Cane after Hip Surgery: The Basics

Right of the bat, you must understand a few basic principles of using a cane. In addition to learning how to choose the right cane for you, you must also know key details like which side to use the cane on.

How to Choose the Right Cane

The ideal cane for you should be able to support your body weight without a hitch. Therefore, the larger you are, the larger and sturdier your cane must be. If you feel that you need more stability than normal, consider opting for a four tipped cane.

Despite what you might think, the grip on the handle of your cane plays a vital role. The chances are that you will be using your cane for a long time and how comfortable it is will depend solely on the grip handle.


Going for a rubberized grip handle is the most ideal in this scenario where your cane will be holding most of your body weight for you, as it not only prevents slips but also allows for comfort.

Your cane should also be specific for your height. An easy rule to follow is to have the top of your cane come up to your hip so that your elbow is bent a little. Having said that, this is not a cookie-cutter solution meant to be used by everyone as there are other factors that come into play.

For example, your cane height may depend on your personal preference, how flexible your wrist, hands, elbows, and shoulders are, what feels comfortable to you, whether you stand upright or not, etc.

How to Hold the Cane

You want the stronger side of your body to bear most of your body weight. So, always hold the cane at the opposite side of the hip you had surgery on. This will allow you to have more support and balance.


How to Walk with the Cane

Using your cane to assist you, take your time when walking, and always be super careful. Placing the cane on the side you didn’t have surgery on, take a step with your stronger leg first, and then follow with your weaker leg and the cane simultaneously.

Even though your cane is on your stronger side, move it along with your weaker leg. This is so that your weaker side is not bearing more pressure than it should, thus leading to a speedy recovery.

How to Walk Up and Down the Stairs

Walking up the stairs generally puts a lot of pressure on your hip joint. Hence, this will be a tricky task after hip surgery. Whenever walking the stairs, make sure you are taking the help of the handrail. Regardless of your weaker side, place the cane on the opposite of the handrail.

When climbing stairs, make sure you are using the stronger leg first. Then, while bearing down on the handrail and the cane, take the step with your weaker leg.

And when walking down the stairs, you will do the opposite. Step down with your weaker leg first and then with your stronger leg. This ensures that your weight is on your stronger leg all throughout.

Final Words

As already mentioned above, the road to recovery after hip surgery may be long and painful. But the key is to minimize the pressure on your weaker side as much as you can. Using a cane will help you do just that, and offer more balance and stability in your movement.

  • Updated March 28, 2020
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