Abnormality of gait refers to an unusual walking pattern or style. There are many types of gait abnormalities, each with their own name and list of possible causes.
An unusual walking pattern can be caused by diseases of the central nervous system (such as cerebral palsy, Parkinson's disease, or multiple sclerosis), or be the result of an injury or deformity in the brain, spinal cord, legs, feet, or inner ear.
Gait abnormalities are common in young children. The types most often seen are in-toeing (when the feet turn inward) and out-toeing (when the feet turn outward). These conditions are not painful and usually resolve on their own as the child develops.
If a gait abnormality is not self-correcting, a doctor may recommend special shoes, casts, or leg braces. Some cases might require surgery. Physical therapy can help someone with a gait problem learn to walk more easily and safely. A walker or cane might be advised for someone with poor balance.
People with gait abnormalities can be very independent, but they are at higher risk for falls and other injuries. They may need to move at a slower pace and ask for assistance when walking on uneven ground.
All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.
|American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) The AAOS provides information for the public on sports safety, and bone, joint, muscle, ligament and tendon injuries or conditions.|
|United Cerebral Palsy This organization provides information about cerebral palsy (CP) as well as new research and therapies.|
|American Physical Therapy Association This organization provides information on physical therapy, from therapists in each state to current research.|
|In-toeing & Out-toeing in Toddlers It can be upsetting to see your child develop an abnormal gait, but for most toddlers with in-toeing or out-toeing, it's usually nothing to worry about.|
|Common Childhood Orthopedic Conditions Flatfeet, toe walking, pigeon toes, bowlegs, and knock-knees. Lots of kids have these common orthopedic conditions, but do they represent medical problems that can and should be corrected?|
|Should I Worry About the Way My Son Walks? Find out what the experts have to say.|
|Cerebral Palsy Cerebral palsy (CP) is one of the most common congenital disorders of childhood. This article explains causes, diagnosis, prevention, treatment, and more.|
|Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip Developmental dysplasia of the hip, a deformity that can occur before, during, or weeks after birth, can cause hip dislocation and/or an abnormal walk.|
|Cool Cast Facts Some injuries will heal best if a cast or splint is used. Find out how they work and how to take care of them in this article for kids.|
|Frequently Asked Questions About Casts Getting a cast often comes with plenty of questions. Read on for answers to some frequent inquiries many parents - and kids - may have about casts.|
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