Gait abnormality is a deviation from normal walking ( gait). Watching a patient walk is the most important part of the neurological examination. Normal gait requires that many systems, including strength, sensation and coordination, function in an integrated fashion. Many common problems in the nervous system and musculoskeletal system will show up in the way a person walks. [1 ]
Presentation and causes [ edit ]
Persons suffering from
peripheral neuropathy experience numbness and tingling in their hands and feet. This can cause ambulation impairment, such as trouble climbing stairs or maintaining balance. Gait abnormality is also common in persons with nervous system problems such as Multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, Myasthenia gravis, Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus, and Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease. 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 or joint pains (antalgic gait) sometimes resolves spontaneously once the pain is gone. [2 ] [3 ] Hemiplegic persons have circumduction gait and those with cerebral palsy often have scissoring gait.
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