Gait, Types of Gait, Abnormal Gaits

Locomotion or Gait:

It is defined as a translatory progression of body as a whole produced by coordinated ,rotatory movements of body segments. Types of Gait are discussed below:

Normal Gait:

It is rhythmic and characterized by alternating propulsive and retro-pulsive motions of the lower extremities.

Gait , Atypical and Abnormal Gait
Gait , Atypical and Abnormal Gait

Abnormal & Atypical Gait:

  •   If a muscle is week how weak is it 
  •   If joint motion is limited, how limited is it?

Pathophysiological Gaits:

  • Abnormality in gait may be caused by:
  • Pain 
  • Joint muscle range of motion limitation
  • Muscular weakness/paralysis
  • Neurological involvement
  • Leg length discrepancy

Types of Pathological Gait:

Due to Pain:

  • Antalgic or limping gait- (Psoatic Gait)
  • Due to neurological disturbance:
  • Muscular Paralysis
  • Cerebellar dysfunction- (Ataxic gait)
  • Loss of kinesthetic sensation- (Stamping gait)
  • Basal ganglia- (Festinaut Gait)

Due to Abnormal Deformities:

  • Equinus Gait
  • Equinovarus Gait
  • Calcaneal Gait
  • Knock & Bow Knee Gait
  • Genurecurvatum Gait

Due to Leg Length Discrepancy:

  • Equinus Gait

Psoatic Gait:

  • Psoas bursa may be inflamed & edematous which cause limitation of movement due to pain and produce a atypical gait.
  • Hip externally rotated
  • Hip adducted
  • Knee in slight flexion
  • This process seems to relieve tension of the muscle and hence relieve the inflamed structures.

Rocking Horse Gait:

  • The gluteus maximus act as a restraint for forward progression.
  • The trunk quickly shifts posteriorly at heel strike (initial contact)
  • This will shift the body’s COG posteriorly over gluteus maximus moving the line of force posterior to hip joints.
  • It requires less muscle strength to to maintain hip in extension.
  • It is known as ROCKING HORSE GAIT due to excessive forward and backward movement.

Gluteus Medius Gait:

  • One side is affected. The individual shifts towards affected side and the body leans over left leg and right side of the pelvis will drop also known as lurching, Waddling, Duck gait.
  •  and there is excessive shoulder swing.

Hemiplegic Gait:

  • With spastic pattern of hemiplegic leg
  • hip into extension, adduction and medial rotation.
  • knee in extension though often unstable.
  • In order to clear the foot from ground the hip and knee should flex.
  • spastic muscles do not allow hip and knee to flex  so patient hikes hip and bring the affected leg by making a half circle circumducting the leg hence this is also known as “circumductory gait”
  • step length tends to be shortened on affected side.

Paraplegic Gait:

  • There is a spasticity of both hips and knee extensors and ankle plantar flexors.
  • Patient has to drag his both lower limb swings them and place it forward in order to clear the floor.

Ataxic or drunken Gait:

  • Abnormal function of cerebellum result in a disturbance of normal mechanism controlling balance and therefore patient walks with wider base of support.
  • the wider base creates a larger side to side deviation.
  • Hence it is known as Reeling Gait.

Scissoring Gait:

  • It results from spasticity of bilateral adductor muscle of hip.
  • Eg: Cerebral Palsy

Knock knee Gait:

  • It is also known as genu valgum gait.
  • Due to decreased physiological valgus of knee.
  • Both the knee face each other widening the BOS.

Bow Leg Gait:

  • Knee face outwards.
  • Due to increase increased physiological valgus of knee.
  • The legs will be in a bowed position.

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