Gait Abnormalities

Gait Abnormalities

Gait abnormalities are unusual and uncontrollable walking patterns, usually caused by diseases or injuries to the legs, feet, brain, spine, or inner ear. Some walking abnormalities are so characteristic that they have been given descriptive names:

• Propulsive gait: a stooped, rigid posture, with the head and neck bent forward

• Scissors 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

• Spastic gait: a stiff, foot-dragging walk caused by one-sided, long-term, muscle contraction

• Steppage gait: foot drop where the foot hangs with the toes pointing down, causing the toes to scrape the ground while walking

• Waddling gait: a distinctive duck-like walk that may appear in childhood or later in life

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