Gait abnormality

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Gait abnormality
Other namesAbnormalities of gait
Quadrupedalism in a Kurdish family
Specialty Neurology, orthopedics

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]

Contents

Presentation and causes

Patients with musculoskeletal pain, weakness or limited range of motion often present conditions such as Trendelenburg's sign, limping, myopathic gait and antalgic gait.

Patients suffering from peripheral neuropathy also 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 cauda equina syndrome, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, myasthenia gravis, normal pressure hydrocephalus, and Charcot–Marie–Tooth disease. Research has shown that neurological gait abnormalities are associated with an increased risk of falls in older adults. [2]

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. [3] [4] Hemiplegic persons have circumduction gait, where the affected limb moves through an arc away from the body, and those with cerebral palsy often have scissoring gait.

See also

Related Research Articles

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Hypotonia, commonly known as floppy baby syndrome, is a state of low muscle tone, often involving reduced muscle strength. Hypotonia is not a specific medical disorder, but a potential manifestation of many different diseases and disorders that affect motor nerve control by the brain or muscle strength. Hypotonia is a lack of resistance to passive movement, whereas muscle weakness results in impaired active movement. Central hypotonia originates from the central nervous system, while peripheral hypotonia is related to problems within the spinal cord, peripheral nerves and/or skeletal muscles. Recognizing hypotonia, even in early infancy, is usually relatively straightforward, but diagnosing the underlying cause can be difficult and often unsuccessful. The long-term effects of hypotonia on a child's development and later life depend primarily on the severity of the muscle weakness and the nature of the cause. Some disorders have a specific treatment but the principal treatment for most hypotonia of idiopathic or neurologic cause is physical therapy, occupational therapy for remediation, and/or music therapy.

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Limp Type of asymmetric abnormality of the gait

A limp is a type of asymmetric abnormality of the gait. Limping may be caused by pain, weakness, neuromuscular imbalance, or a skeletal deformity. The most common underlying cause of a painful limp is physical trauma; however, in the absence of trauma, other serious causes, such as septic arthritis or slipped capital femoral epiphysis, may be present. The diagnostic approach involves ruling out potentially serious causes via the use of X-rays, blood tests, and sometimes joint aspiration. Initial treatment involves pain management. A limp is the presenting problem in about 4% of children who visit hospital emergency departments.

Foot drop Gait abnormality

Foot drop is a gait abnormality in which the dropping of the forefoot happens due to weakness, irritation or damage to the common fibular nerve including the sciatic nerve, or paralysis of the muscles in the anterior portion of the lower leg. It is usually a symptom of a greater problem, not a disease in itself. Foot drop is characterized by inability or impaired ability to raise the toes or raise the foot from the ankle (dorsiflexion). Foot drop may be temporary or permanent, depending on the extent of muscle weakness or paralysis and it can occur in one or both feet. In walking, the raised leg is slightly bent at the knee to prevent the foot from dragging along the ground.

Astasia-abasia refers to the inability to either stand or walk in a normal manner. Astasia refers to the inability to stand upright unassisted. Abasia refers to lack of motor coordination in walking. The term abasia literally means that the base of gait is inconstant or unmeasurable. When seen in conversion disorder, the gait is bizarre and is not suggestive of a specific organic lesion: often the patient sways wildly and nearly falls, recovering at the last moment.

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An antalgic gait is a gait that develops as a way to avoid pain while walking. It is a form of gait abnormality where the stance phase of gait is abnormally shortened relative to the swing phase. It is a good indication of weight-bearing pain.

Neurological disorder Disease of anatomical entity that is located in the central nervous system or located in the peripheral nervous system

A neurological disorder is any disorder of the nervous system. Structural, biochemical or electrical abnormalities in the brain, spinal cord or other nerves can result in a range of symptoms. Examples of symptoms include paralysis, muscle weakness, poor coordination, loss of sensation, seizures, confusion, pain and altered levels of consciousness. There are many recognized neurological disorders, some relatively common, but many rare. They may be assessed by neurological examination, and studied and treated within the specialities of neurology and clinical neuropsychology.

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Parkinsonian gait

Parkinsonian gait is the type of gait exhibited by patients suffering from Parkinson's disease (PD).. It is often described by people with Parkinson's as feeling like being stuck in place, when initiating a step or turning, and can increase the risk of falling. This disorder is caused by a deficiency of dopamine in the basal ganglia circuit leading to motor deficits. Gait is one of the most affected motor characteristics of this disorder although symptoms of Parkinson's disease are varied.

Spinal stenosis Disease of the bony spine that results in narrowing of the spinal canal

Spinal stenosis is an abnormal narrowing of the spinal canal or neural foramen that results in pressure on the spinal cord or nerve roots. Symptoms may include pain, numbness, or weakness in the arms or legs. Symptoms are typically gradual in onset and improve with bending forwards. Severe symptoms may include loss of bladder control, loss of bowel control, or sexual dysfunction.

Gait deviations any variation of standard human gait

Gait deviations are nominally referred to as any variation of standard human gait, typically manifesting as a coping mechanism in response to an anatomical impairment. Lower-limb amputees are unable to maintain the characteristic walking patterns of an able-bodied individual due to the removal of some portion of the impaired leg. Without the anatomical structure and neuromechanical control of the removed leg segment, amputees must use alternative compensatory strategies to walk efficiently. Prosthetic limbs provide support to the user and more advanced models attempt to mimic the function of the missing anatomy, including biomechanically controlled ankle and knee joints. However, amputees still display quantifiable differences in many measures of ambulation when compared to able-bodied individuals. Several common observations are whole-body movements, slower and wider steps, shorter strides, and increased sway.

Age-related mobility disability is a self-reported inability to walk due to impairments, limited mobility, dexterity or stamina. It has been found mostly in older adults with decreased strength in lower extremities.

A central nervous system tumor is an abnormal growth of cells from the tissues of the brain or spinal cord. CNS tumor is a generic term encompassing over 120 distinct tumor types. Common symptoms of CNS tumors include vomiting, headache, changes in vision, nausea, and seizures. A CNS tumor can be detected and classified via neurological examination, medical imaging, such as x-ray imaging, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed tomography (CT), or after analysis of a biopsy.

References

  1. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 16th ed., Ch. 346, Approach to the Paitent with Neurological Disease
  2. Verghese, Joe; Ambrose, Anne F.; Lipton, Richard B.; Wang, Cuiling (2010-03-01). "Neurological gait abnormalities and risk of falls in older adults". Journal of Neurology. 257 (3): 392–398. doi:10.1007/s00415-009-5332-y. ISSN   0340-5354. PMC   2838981 . PMID   19784714.
  3. "Gait Abnormality Coding Checklist by Jun Mapili, PT, MA13212503469Ed". Selmanholman.com. Archived from the original on 2014-07-14. Retrieved 2014-06-10.
  4. ICD-9-cm Chrisenders Archived May 21, 2005, at the Wayback Machine
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