Gait disorders may be divided into structural and neurological problems. Some patients have both. Structural problems include arthritis and other degenerative joint diseases, muscle deconditioning, acquired impairments following knee or hip surgeries, back or spine problems, and other musculoskeletal disorders. These problems may lead to pain, stiffness, weakness, and numbness, which can all contribute to an abnormal walk. Obesity often makes structural problems worse. Neurological problems include Parkinson’s or other neurological diseases, impairments following stroke or other cerebrovascular incidents, and vision or inner ear problems that affect balance. Diabetes, which can lead to nerve damage, can cause sensory problems that contribute to gait disorders, while dementia and fear of falling can also be factors.
Certain medications have been linked to disordered gait and falls. The chief culprits are psychotropic medications,...
References and Readings
- Sudarsky, L. (2004). Gait disorders. In R. L. Watts & W. C. Koller (Eds.), Movement disorders (2nd ed., pp. 813–824). New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar