, Volume 15, Issue 9, pp 1238-1242

Gait Cinematic Analysis in Morbidly Obese Patients

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Background: Functional co-morbidities of excess body weight such as gait problems are never life-threatening like those associated with certain metabolic sequelae. Nevertheless, they may interfere with quality of life and also act as a mirror of muscle, bone and joint stress. In this prospective study, the goal was to document dynamic aspects of gait in severely obese subjects. Methods: An outpatient population (age 47.2 ± 12.9 years, 94.1% females, BMI 40.1 ± 6.0 kg/m2, n= 34) had their gait analyzed by an experienced physical therapist. Variables included speed, cadence, stride, support base and foot angle, which were compared to reference values for the Brazilian population. Results: All variables were significantly lower in the obese patients, except for support base which was increased. Speed was 73.3±16.3 vs 130 cm/s, cadence was 1.4±0.2 vs 1.8 steps/s, stride was 106.8±13.1 vs 132.0 cm, and support was 12.5±3.5 vs 10.0 cm (P<0.05). Conclusions: 1) Widespread cinematic impairment was the rule in the studied population. 2) These findings are consistent with poor skeletal muscle performance, high metabolic expenditure and constant physical exhaustion. 3) Attention should be paid not only to the metabolic management but also to the physical rehabilitation required in cases of advanced obesity.