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Gait abnormality

Name of Symptom/Sign:
Abnormalities of gait and mobility
Classifications and external resources
ICD-10 R26.
ICD-9 781.2
DiseasesDB 15409
MedlinePlus 003199
eMedicine pmr/225 

Gait abnormality typically results from affections of 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]

  • Ataxia
  • Cerebellar lesions
  • Cerebellar degeneration
  • Intoxications

Festinating gait/Parkinsonian gait

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

Pigeon gait

Torsional abnormalities. [8]

Propulsive gait

Stiff, with head and neck bent. [9]

Steppage gait/High stepping gait

Toes point down. [10][11][12]

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 [13].[14]

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.

See also

  • Ataxia
  • Limp
  • Foot drop
  • Gait Abnormality Rating Scale
  • The Ministry of Silly Walks


  1. ^ Gait Abnormality Coding Checklist by Jun Mapili, PT, MAEd
  2. ^ ICD-9-cm Chrisenders
  3. ^ GP Notebook
  4. ^ GP Notebook
  5. ^ Medfriendly
  6. ^ About Physical Therapy
  7. ^ GP Notebook
  8. ^ GP Notebook
  9. ^ Medline Plus
  10. ^ Medline Plus
  11. ^ Med Terms
  12. ^ GP Notebook
  13. ^ Medline Plus
  14. ^ GP Notebook
  15. ^ Medical Web Ends
  16. ^ About Physical Therapy
  17. ^ GP Notebook
  18. ^ Disease Database
  19. ^ Medline Plus
  20. ^ About Physical Therapy
  21. ^ Medline Plus
  22. ^ GP Notebook
  • 1376124935 at GPnotebook
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Gait_abnormality". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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