Visual Gait Analysis

If possible, do initial gait analysis as patient enters examination/treatment room. Observe for amounts and timing of events. Look for asymmetry’s. Concentrate on one aspect at a time. Bisection on calcaneus and posterior aspect of leg is often helpful. A mark on the medial side of the navicular is also helpful. Be aware that many individuals may consciously or subconscious alter gait while being observed. At least an 8 to 10 metre walkway is desirable with provision for watching subjects from behind/in front (frontal plane) as well as from the side (sagittal plane).

Frontal plane observations:
Upper body: Head level or tilted?
Shoulders level?
Height of finger tips
Symmetrical arm swing
Pelvis level or tilted?

Lower limb: Position of knee
Timing of knee motion
Position of tibia
Timing of tibial motion

Foot: Timing/amount of rearfoot motion
Timing/amount of heel contact/off
Timing/amount of midfoot motion
Transfer from low gear to high gear during propulsion
Angle and base of gait
Abductory twist?
Clawing of digits/ (flexor stabilisation)
Prominent extensor tendons (extensor substitution)

Sagittal plane observations:
Upper body: Forward or backward tilt
Symmetrical arm swing

Lower limb: Position/timing of knee motion
Position/timing of hip joint motion

Foot: Timing/amount of heel lift
Timing/amount of midtarsal joint motion
Timing/amount of first metatarsophalangeal joint motion

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