Ambulatory devices for chronic gait disorders in the elderly

Frederick W. Van Hook, Dale Demonbreun, Barry D. Weiss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

92 Scopus citations

Abstract

Gait disorders in the elderly are common and in most cases cannot be treated medically or surgically. Therefore, treatment often relies on ambulatory devices such as canes, crutches, and walkers. Before selecting a device, the patient should be evaluated to define whether one or both upper extremities are required to achieve balance or bear weight. Patients requiring only one upper extremity can use a cane, while patients requiring both upper extremities are best served by forearm crutches or walkers. The patient's need to bear weight through the device will help the physician choose a specific device. When measuring the device, anatomic landmarks and the angle of the elbow must be taken into consideration. Because time often is limited during a routine office visit, a physical therapist often can provide further training for patients learning to use such a device.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1717-1724
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican family physician
Volume67
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 15 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Family Practice

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