Candy Cane Stirrups

Quote from Alexander’s Care of the Patient in Surgery.  13th Edition.

“Avoid candy cane stirrups when possible…Boot type stirrups, which support the foot and calf, distribute pressure more evenly, reducing risk of extreme localized pressure on any one area of the foot or leg. They also allow for controlled and limited abduction. This safety feature reduces the risk of stirrup slippage or dropping the leg during adjustment of the leg position.”


Quote from AORN Journal “ Lithotomy Positioning Devices” Colonel Lorna Strezlecki RN and Charles Pascal RN

“The ankle straps of candy cane stirrups can put pressure on the distal, sural, and plantar nerves, which result in neuropathies of the foot. Leaning of the lateral calf against the vertical stirrup bar puts pressure on the peroneal nerve resulting in foot drop and lack of sensation below the knee. Another concern with the candy canes is the risk of Hyperabduction. Exaggerated Flexion stretches the sciatic nerve” 


Quote OUTPATIENT SURGERY MAGAZINE, Nathan Hall Editor. 4/08

“What you do in the few minutes you have to position a patient for surgery can have long lasting consequences. Candy cane leg holders that wrap around the head of the fibula can compress the leg’s peroneal nerve. Excessively abducted hips increase strain on the obturator nerve and can cause pain and adductor muscle dysfunction. Hip flexion increases pressure on the femoral and lateral femoral cutaneous nerves and can cause painful parasthesias”


Quote from Suzie Scott Williams RN, MSN, CWOGN in Outpatient Surgery Magazine 12/06; “Prevent Patient Positioning Problems.”

QUOTE… “Dr. John Martin and Dr. Mark Warner’s ‘Positioning in Anesthesia’ makes it clear that if you use candy canes at all you should limit their use to very short periods of time.  You must ask what exactly is meant by ‘short periods of time’ and whether that is even acceptable knowing that there is equipment available that can reduce the positioning risk.”

** “Supplant the use of candy canes with the newer boot-type devices that redistribute pressure.”

** “Regarding the use of candy cane stirrups, some experts are beginning to realize that hip, back, leg and joint pain following GYN procedures isn’t just a normal part of surgery and may not spontaneously go away.

One thought on “Candy Cane Stirrups

  1. Jennifer has never worked in any other field except health care and is passionate about serving others and finding creative and innovative ways of meeting others needs.

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