With age and time, people gradually start showing physical shortcomings and need to adjust their life according to the changes in their bodies. In order to retain their mobility, people in old age look for external help to walk such as canes, walkers, and so on.
However, sometimes people can begin to rely on walkers irrespective of their age owing to diseases or trauma such as a hip replacement surgery. Once they start to recover, it’s important to learn how to stop using a walker and become independent of it.
Walking without a walker is a difficult process and requires immense stamina and will power.
This article will discuss how to stop using a walker and how to transition into independent walking after a hip replacement.
When Should You Transition From a Walker to a Cane?
Transitioning from using a walker to a cane needs a lot of patience and time. It is not a wise decision to go immediately to independent walking.
One of these circumstances include a hip/knee replacement surgery or a broken leg which makes you dependent on the walker.
However, if you are an otherwise healthy person and are using a walker just because of old age, the process will be quicker for you.
The first thing that you need to decide is when to switch from walker to cane after hip replacement.
If you are beginning to walk without leaning on the walker too much, it’s a healthy sign to start considering a more independent alternative.
However, if you think you are still projecting more than half of your body weight on the walker, maybe this is not the time for you. You should instead look into rehab exercises to walk efficiently again and to avoid major accidents.
The second thing that you need to consider during this transition is your posture while using a walker. In order to work your muscles and exercise more, you should get a walker that can support you in an upright position to maintain proper posture when using the walker.
How Long Should I Use a Walker After Hip Replacement?
Figuring out how long to use a walker after hip replacement is crucial to ensure that you are not using those muscles sooner and aggravating the injury or using it for too long that you become dependent on the walker.
While using a walker, do sufficient research on how to walk with a walker after hip surgery by watching YouTube tutorials and consulting a physical therapist.
In most of the cases, you should use an external assistive device such as a walker or crutches for at least two to four weeks after the surgery.
Once you think that you can support your body weight more, switch to a less dependent device such as a cane. Finally, stop using a cane once you can walk without a limp.
How Can I Start Transitioning to a Cane?
If you are limited to using a walker and want to get back to independent walking as soon as possible, you need to focus on strengthening the muscles around the hips, knees, and ankles.
Getting back to walking requires stronger muscles and more stamina so that your body can learn to hold itself up.
It is better to consult a physical therapist who can deal with your transition to walking with a cane.
A professional can teach you some exercises that you can perform at home by yourself and that will help you regain your normal function. However, you need to perform these exercises religiously in order for them to show maximum efficiency.
One of the frequently asked questions that patients dependent on walkers asked is walking with a walker good exercise? Most patients with a physical disability need to understand that they can exercise even with limited mobility.
You need to stand for extended periods of time or walk from one place to the other.
Not only does exercising improve your muscle strength but it also releases certain chemicals in your brain that improve confidence and make you feel good.
What to Consider When Picking a Cane?
Once you are ready to switch to a cane, you need to keep some considerations in your mind when you go shopping for one.
You need to make sure that your cane is of an appropriate height. Ideally it should reach at least the crease of your wrist so that you can hold it comfortably.
A common mistake among new cane users is that they tend to hold the cane on the same side as the injured leg. Instead, you should be doing the opposite. For example, you had surgery on the right leg, so now your cane should be in the left hand to offer greater stability and support.
Remember, don’t let your family and friends pressurize you into switching from one assistive device to another.
Only you and your healthcare professional can take that decision after discussing your ability to switch, your mindset, and if you are ready to make that change.
Switching from a walker to a cane or to independent walking can be a difficult yet rewarding experience. During this journey, it is crucial to prioritize your safety and consult a physical therapist if you experience any kind of pain or discomfort.
All you need to do except that is to figure out how to stop using a walker by this extensive guide. Trust your instincts and exercise regularly to get your maximum strength back.
How Do You Transition From Walker to Walking?
You can transition from walker to walking by exercising regularly, strengthening your muscles, and consulting your physical therapist on how to make the process smoother.
Can You Become Dependent on a Walker?
Unless you are a person with balance deficits, chances are that you will not become dependent on walkers. However, prolonged use can lead to more difficulties letting go of the walker.
When Should a Baby Stop Using a Walker?
Ideally, babies should stop using walkers after 12 months of age and should learn to take their first steps.
Why Do I Have to Use a Walker?
You could need to use a walker if you have reached old age and have arthritis, balance problems, had a recent knee/hip surgery, or face any other neurological or musculoskeletal disorder.