What is the best method for a patient with knee arthritis to walk up and down the stairs?
Up to heaven, down to hell. A patient should lead with the leg having the good (heaven) knee as he goes up stairs since there is more force across the knee of the climbing leg. The patient should lead with the leg that has the bad (hell) knee when going down stairs since there is more force across the trailing leg which supports the descent. He can also lock his bad knee on the descent when he leads with it thus providing more stability. During both the ascent and descent of stairs, the cane (supporting body weight on it) advances when the arthritic leg is brought forward.