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Name of Symptom/Sign:
Abnormalities of gait and mobility
ICD-10 R26
ICD-9 781.2
OMIM [1]
MedlinePlus 003199
eMedicine pmr/225
DiseasesDB 15409

Gait abnormality ais a movement disorder which typically results from disorders of the nervous and musculoskeletal systems. Persons suffering from peripheral neuropathy experience numbness and tingling in their hands and feet. This can cause ambulation impairment, trouble in climbing stairs and maintaining balance. Gait abnormality is also common in persons with nervous system affections such as Multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, Myasthenia gravis among others. Orthopedic corrective treatments may also manifest into gait abnormality, such as lower extremity amputation, post-fracture, and arthroplasty (joint replacement). Difficulty in ambulation that results from chemotherapy is generally temporary in nature, though recovery times of six months to a year are common. Likewise, difficulty in walking due to arthritis, joint pains (antalgic gait) sometimes resolve spontaneously once the pain is gone.[1][2].

Specific abnormalities and examples of causes[]

Antalgic gait[]

User favors certain motions to avoid acute pain. [3]

Drunken gait/Cerebellar ataxia[]

Reeling in a style like that of an intoxicated person. [4]

Festinating gait/Parkinsonian gait[]

Patient moves with short, jerky steps. Term derives from Latin "festino", or "to hurry". [5] [6][7]

Gluteal Gait[]

Marche a petit pas[]

Magnetic gait[]

Myopathic gait[]

Pigeon gait[]

Torsional abnormalities. [8]

  • Hip dysplasia

Propulsive gait[]

Stiff, with head and neck bent. [9]

Scissor gait[]

Legs flexed slightly at the hips and knees, giving the appearance of crouching, with the knees and thighs hitting or crossing in a scissors-like movement. Often mixed with or accompanied by spastic gait, a stiff, foot-dragging walk caused by one-sided, long-term muscle contraction. Most common in patients with spastic cerebral palsy, usually diplegic and paraplegic varieties. The individual is forced to walk on tiptoe unless the dorsiflexor muscles are released by an orthaepedic surgical procedure. Muscle contractures of the adductors result in thighs and knees rubbing together and crossing in a manner analogous to scissors.

These features are typical, and usually result in some form and to some degree regardless of the mildness or severity of the spastic CP condition.

  • rigidity and excessive adduction of the leg in swing
  • plantar flexion of the ankle
  • flexion at the knee
  • adduction and internal rotation at the hip
  • contractures of all spastic muscles
  • complicated assisting movements of the upper limbs when walking [10].[11]

Spastic gait[]

Steppage gait/High stepping gait[]

Toes point down. [12][13][14]

Stomping gait[]

Trendelenburg gait[]

See also[]

Sensory ataxia gait/Stomping gait[]

Uncoordinated walking [15][16][17][18]

Spastic gait[]

Asymmetric foot dragging. [19][20]

Trendelenburg gait[]

  • weakness of the abductor muscles of the lower limb, principally gluteus medius

Waddling/Myopathic gait[]

Walking like a duck. [21][22]

Magnetic gait[]

Feet seem attached to floor as if by a magnet. In magnetic gait, each step is initiated in a "wresting" motion carrying feet upward and forward. Magnetic gait can be visualized in terms of a powerful magnet being forcefully pulled from a steel plate.

In Parkinsons disease[]

Gait dysfunctions that are commonly noticed in Parkinson's disease are a flexed posture, shuffling steps, difficulty in stride length regulation, reduced foot clearance during swing phase, and increased cadence. Dancing can be used as a therapeutic tool to efficiently improve balance and complex gait tasks. One form of dancing is tango which incorporates numerous turns. The moves involve movement initiation, postural control, turning, dynamic balancing, random perturbation, and termination. The characteristics of these movements specifically aim for improving patients with Parkinson's disease.[23] This "partner" dance also helps the patients in social interaction, because it is less structured, compared to other social dances.

Dopamine is a critical neurotransmitter in maintaining the balance of body and initaiting movements. For Parkinson's disease patients, there is a major loss of dopaminergic cells in the substantia nigra, wich is a part of the basal ganglia, and patients have a hard time initiating and balancing their movements. The music from dancing may serve as an external cue to facilitate movements. Controlling of tango movements leads to an increased activation in the basal ganglia.[24] Basal ganglia are usually dysfunctional for Parkinson's disease patients, and increased activation in basal ganglia signifies the potential for improvement.[24]

In the experiment performed by Hackney in 2007, subjects with Parkinson's disease were assigned to two movement therapy groups of exercise and tango, and the effectiveness was compared using the UPDRS score, the Berg Balance Scale, Timed Up and Go test and self-reported freezing of gait. Both groups showed significant improvements, but, on Berg Balance Scale and Timed Up and Go test, the tango group showed greater improvements.[23] Music therapy triggers rhythmic movement of the patients with Parkinson's, and it helps initiating the motor sensory system as well as maintaining the balance of the body.

See also[]


External links[]

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