Gait Assessment

  • Jimmy D. Bowen
  • Gerry Salter


The understanding of gait is paramount in understanding an athlete’s impairment and the diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of that impairment. Walking and running are universal endeavors while efficient athletic walking and running are not. Know the difference. The examination of a lower limb injury begins at the feet and extends to the spine and must pass through the hip and pelvis, regardless of the joint or segment injured. Understanding the differences that occur in gait as we age will help you promote the continued athletic performance of your “baby boomer” patients. Differences in gait between genders exist, it is important to know the variability in order to design your differential diagnoses and treatments.


Stance Phase Gait Cycle Stride Length Swing Phase Inverted Pendulum 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. 1.
    Kerrigan D, Croce U. Gait analysis. In: O’Connor F, Sallis R, Wilder R, et al, eds. Sports Medicine: Just the Facts. New York: McGraw-Hill Medical Publishing Division; 2005:126–130.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Malanga G, Delisa J. Clinical observation. In: Delisa J, ed. Gait Analysis in the Science of Rehabilitation. Department of Veterans Affairs. Darby: Diane Publishing; 2000:1–10.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Magee D. Gait assessment In: Magee D, ed. Orthopedic Physical Assessment, 3rd ed. Philadelphia: WB Saunders Company; 1997:673–696Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Perry J. Gait Analysis, Normal and Pathological Function. Thorofare, NJ: SLACK; 1992.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Birrer R, Buzermanis S, DellaCorte M, et al. Bio-mechanics of running. In: O’Connor F, Wilder R, eds. The Textbook of Running Medicine. New York: McGraw Hill; 2001:11–19.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Novacheck T. The Biomechanics of Running. Gait Posture 1998; 7:77–95.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Adams J, Perry J. Gait analysis: clinical applications. In: Rose J, Gamble J, eds. Human Locomotion. Baltimore: William and Wilkins; 1994:139–164.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Inman V, Ralston H, Todd F. Human locomotion. In: Rose J, Gamble J, eds. Human Locomotion. Baltimore: Williams and Wilkins; 1994:1–22.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Sutherland D, Glshen R, Cooper W. The development of mature gait. J. Bone Joint Am 1980; 62:336–353.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Gonzalez E, Corcoran P. Energy expenditure during ambulation. In: Downey J, Myers S, Gonzalez E, Lieberman J, editors. The Physiological Basis of Rehabilitation Medicine, 2nd edn. Stoneham (MA): Butterworth-Heinemann; 1994:413–446.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Saunders J, Inman V, Eberhart H. The major determinants in normal and pathological gait. J. Bone Joint Am 1953; 35:543–558.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Nuber G. Biomechanics of the foot and ankle during gait. Clin Sports Med 1988; 7:1–13.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Rodgers M. Dynamic foot mechanics. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 1995; 21:306–316.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Invanenko Y, Dominici N, Lacquaniti F. Development of independent walking in toddlers. Exer Sports Sci Rev 2007; 35(2):67–73.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Cavagna G, Franzetti P, Fuchimoto T. The mechanics of walking in children. J Physiol 1983; 343:323–339.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    McGibbons C. Toward a better understanding of gait changes with age and disablement: Neuromuscular adaptation. Exer Sport Sci Rev 2003; 31(2):102–108.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Winter D, Patla A, Frank J, et al. Biomechanical walking pattern changes in the fit and healthy elderly. Phys Ther 1990; 70:340–347.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Devita P, Hotobagyi. Age causes redistribution of joint torques and powers during gait. J Appl Physiol 2000; 88:1804–1811.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Judge J, Davis R, Ounpuu S. Step length reduction in advanced age: the role of ankle and hip kinetics. J Gerontol Med Sci 1996; 51A:303–312.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Kerrigan D, Todd M, Croce U, et al. Biomechanical gait alterations independent of speed in the healthy elderly: evidence for specific limiting impairments. Arch Phys Med Rehabil 1998; 79:317–322.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    McGibbon C, Krebs D. Age related changes in lower trunk coordination and energy transfer during gait. J Neurophysiol 2001; 85:1923–1931.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Riley P, Croce U, Kerrigan D. Effects of age on lower extremity joint moment contributions to gait speed. Gait Posture 2001; 14:264–270.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Hausdorff J, Rios D, Edelberg H. Gait variability and fall risk in community-living older adults: a 1-year prospective study. Arch Phys Med Rehabil 2001; 82(8):1050–1056.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Leetun D, Ireland M, Willson J, et al. Core stability measurements as risk factors for lower extremity injury in athletes. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2004; 36:6:926–934.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Bohannon R. Reference values for extremity muscle strength obtained by hand-held dynamometry from adults aged 20 to 79 years. Arch Phys Med Rehabil 1997; 78:26–32.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Cahalan T, Johnson M, Liu S, et al. Quantitative measurements of hip strength in different age groups. Clin Orthop 1989; 246:136–145.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    McGill S, Childs A, Lieberman C. Endurance times for back stabilization exercises: clinical targets for testing and training form normal database. Arch Phys Med Rehabil 1999; 80:941–944.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Nadler S, Malanga G, Deprince M, et al. The relationship between lower extremity injury, low back pain, and hip muscle strength in male and female collegiate athletes. Clin J Sport Med 2000; 10:89–97.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Ferber R, McClay Davis R, Williams D. Gender differences in lower extremity mechanics during running. Clin Biomech 2003; 18:350–357.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Lephart S, Ferris C, Riemann B, et al. Gender differences in strength and lower extremity kinematics during landing. Clin Orthop 2002; 401:162–169.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Malinzak R, Colby S, Kirkendall D, et al. A comparison of knee joint motion patterns between men and women in selected athletic tasks. Clin Biomech 2001; 16:438–445.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Ireland M, Willson B, Ballantyne B, et al. Hip strength in females with and without patellofemoral pain. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 2003; 33:671–676.PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jimmy D. Bowen
    • 1
  • Gerry Salter
    • 2
  1. 1.Saint Francis Medical CenterCape GirardeauUSA
  2. 2.Orthopaedic Service Line, Saint Francis Medical CenterCape GirardeauUSA

Personalised recommendations