What is the role of mobility and gait-assistive devices in the treatment of middle cerebral artery (MCA) stroke?

Updated: Feb 20, 2018
  • Author: Daniel I Slater, MD; Chief Editor: Stephen Kishner, MD, MHA  more...
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Answer

Answer

Gait-assistive devices progress from providing a greater amount of stability to providing only slight cues for balance. Front-wheel walkers have a large base of support and are very stable, providing significant stability. A patient with significant upper extremity paresis can use a large base hemiwalker as an alternative and can progress to a quad cane. A 4-wheel walker provides some balance assistance. However, with increased pressure on the walker and dependence for balance, the 4-wheel walker becomes less stable. It is recommended for patients who use an assistive device primarily to assist with endurance. A single-point cane provides the least stability of the assistive gait devices. It provides proprioceptive information for balance only.


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