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What are some gait symptoms that cause disability?

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Quick Answer

Types of gaits that indicate walking abnormalities or disabilities include propulsive gait, scissors gait, spastic gait, steppage gait and waddling gait, notes HealthLine. Not all abnormal gaits lead to permanent disability, with many only affecting individuals on a temporary basis.

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Full Answer

Walking abnormalities may be caused by arthritis, leg injuries, bone fractures, shin splints and psychological or nervous system disorders, notes HealthLine. An example of a nervous system disorder that may cause a person to develop an abnormal gait is cerebral palsy.

An individual with a propulsive gait walks in a rigid, slouched posture with the head or neck thrust forward, according to HealthLine. A person walking in a scissors gait walks in a crouched posture with his legs bent slightly inwards, sometimes allowing the knees to collide.

A person with a spastic gait may drag his feet when walking, appearing stiff and rigid in the process, according to HealthLine. The steppage gait is characterized by toes pointing down before the back of the foot reaches the ground. A waddling gait makes people look as if they are waddling from side to side when walking. A doctor must perform diagnosis of the cause of an abnormal gait, its symptoms, and any possibility of disability, typically through a physical examination and tests of nerve and muscle function.

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