Comparison of gait characteristics with a single-tip cane, tripod cane, and quad cane

Jeff Nolen, Hao Liu, Hui Liu, Margaret McGee, Victoria Grando

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to compare both the spatial and gait parameters under the following conditions: walking without a cane (WAC) and with three different types of canes (single tip cane (STC), tripod cane (TPC), and small base quad cane (SQC)). Nineteen young healthy subjects participated in this study by using the GAITRite® walkway. In the order of WAC, STC, TPC, and SQC, subjects demonstrated significant difference of decreased velocity, cadence, and increased stance and swing time (p < 0.001), but no significant difference for step and stride lengths (p > 0.050). Further, using a SQC resulted in a much slower velocity and cadence with more stance time than using an STC or TPC (all p < 0.008), but no such differences were observed between an STC and TPC (p > 0.05). These results indicate that walking with a SQC could be most stable but least efficient, while walking with an STC could be the most efficient but least stable. Walking with a TPC could be an appropriate choice when both walking efficiency and cane stability are considered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)387-395
Number of pages9
JournalPhysical and Occupational Therapy in Geriatrics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 9 2010


  • aged
  • assistive device
  • balance
  • posture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Gerontology
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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