Gait abnormality

Abnormalities of gait and mobility
Classification and external resources
ICD-10 R26
ICD-9-CM 781.2
DiseasesDB 15409
MedlinePlus 003199
eMedicine pmr/225
MeSH D020233

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]

Presentation and causes

Quadrupedalism in an Iraqi family

Persons suffering from peripheral neuropathy 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 multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, myasthenia gravis, normal pressure hydrocephalus, and Charcot–Marie–Tooth disease.

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.[2][3] Hemiplegic persons have circumduction gait and those with cerebral palsy often have scissoring gait.

See also


  1. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 16th ed., Ch. 346, Approach to the Paitent with Neurological Disease
  2. "Gait Abnormality Coding Checklist by Jun Mapili, PT, MA13212503469Ed". Retrieved 2014-06-10.
  3. ICD-9-cm Chrisenders Archived May 21, 2005, at the Wayback Machine.
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