Stance and gait

2 phases of walking:

  • Stance: use of extensor muscles (gluteus maximum –> quadriceps –> soleus and gastrocnemius
  • Swing phase: flexor muscles (hip-iliopsoas, knee-hamstring, ankle-tibialis anterior)


Unilateral abnormalities of the gait: pain, immobile joints and muscle weakness

Symmetric abnormalities of the gait: CNS problem

Typical gait:Capture



Example of the gait:

Coxalgic gait

Tredelenburg gait

Gluteus maximus gait

Weak quadriceps gait

Foot drop

Steppage gait

Circumduction gait

Scissor gait

Parkisonian gait

Sensory ataxic gait (positive Romberg test)

Cerebellar ataxic gait

Frontal ataxic gait

Difference between magnetic gait & Parkisonian gait:

  • In Parkinsonian gait
    – Hesitation to initiate steps
    – Lack of arm swinging
    – Retro or anteropulsion
  • In magnetic gait
    – Small steps usually come to a stop (like feet attracted to magnetic under the floor)
    – wide based gait

Reference: Evidence-based physical diagnosis, Steven McGee. – 2nd ed


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