d. Swing-through gait (see figure 1-11) is used for patients with lower extremities
that are paralyzed and/or in braces. Place the patient in the tripod position and instruct
him to do the following:
Move both crutches forward together about 6 inches.
Move both legs forward together about 6 inches.
Repeat the sequence in rhythm for desired ambulation.
Figure 1-11. Swing-through gait.
1-14. WALKERS AND CANES
a. Walkers and canes are generally used as mobilization aids for patients who
can bear weight on the affected leg, but require some support.
b. When utilizing a walker, the patient should use the muscles of the arms and
upper body to help support his weight. After placing the walker in front of the patient,
instruct the patient to ambulate with a walker using the following sequence of moves.
Firmly grasp the hand grips.
Move the walker and the affected leg forward about 6 inches.
Move the unaffected leg forward, parallel to the affected leg.
Repeat the sequence for each step.
c. The patient should hold a cane on the unaffected side with his elbow slightly
flexed and the cane tip about 6 inches in front of and 6 inches to the side of his foot. (A
cane is used for balance, rather than physical support. It is held on the unaffected side
to prevent the patient from "leaning" on it for support.) Instruct the patient to ambulate
using the following sequence.