When it comes to your safety, the height of your walker, cane, and medical equipment really does matter. An improperly adjusted walker or cane can lead to a forward-leaning posture, which can contribute to decreased balance and increased fall risk. If your shower chair is set to the wrong height, it can lead to slips in the shower, or difficulty standing up after you bathe.
The longer you wait to properly adjust your equipment, the more difficult it is to correct postural imbalances and break poor habits. A walker or cane that is too low causes excess flexion (bending) in the hips and trunk, which throws off the body’s balance. A walker that is too high causes you to push it out in front of you, in order to bear weight through your arms. This is extremely unsafe, but very few people have their walkers and canes adjusted professionally. Many walkers have adjustable legs, but some canes are not adjustable, so if you suspect that your single-height cane may not be correct for your size, it is well-worth the investment in an adjustable height cane.
Speaking of canes, many people ambulate with their canes on the wrong side, simply because they learned that way, and it is most comfortable. What is most comfortable is not always the most safe, though, especially after you have surgery. If your left leg is your weaker/injured side, you should generally be using your cane on your right side (unless your right arm or leg is too compromised to safely bear weight.) If you feel that you may be using a cane on the wrong side, do not switch without consulting a professional; you may have been instructed to ambulate as you do because of your particular medical profile.
If you, or a loved one, have questions about your equipment safety, Victory Prehab can help you determine the proper height of your medical equipment, so you can practice safely ambulating, climbing stairs, and negotiating bathroom obstacles at home before your operation.