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OTA 130 - Kinesiology > Gait > Flashcards

Flashcards in Gait Deck (43)
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Gait Cycle

The time from heel contact on one side of body to heel contact on same side of body. Contains two phases:
1) Swing Phase
2) Stance Phase


Single vs. Double Limb Support

SINGLE: when one leg is swinging through; only one leg in contact with ground.

DOUBLE: when both feet are in contact with the ground.


Stance Phase of Gait Cycle

First phase of gait cycle.
• 60% of gait cycle
• 5 Stages (just be familiar):
- Initial contact (heel strike)
- Load response (foot flat)
- Midstance (single leg stance)
- Terminal stance (heel off)
- Preswing (toe off)


Initial Contact

First stage of the stance phase.
• Weight loading portion of stance phase
• Front foot contacting ground (heel strike); back foot bearing weight/absorbing shock
• Both feet in contact with ground (double limb support)


Load Response and Midstance

Middle stages (2-3) of stance phase.
• Front foot flat on ground (load response)
• Midstance is single limb support; able to accept full weight of body/balance
• Requires lateral hip stability and tibia positioned over the fixed foot* (usually where gait problems arise)


Terminal Stance and Preswing

Final two stages of stance phase.
• When back foot is preparing to leave ground, and body weight transfers to front leg
• When weight shifts, heel comes off ground
• Preswing happens when back toe pushes off, propelling leg forward


Swing Phase of Gait Cycle

2nd phase of Gait Cycle.
• Occurs when foot is not in contact with ground.
• 3 stages (just be familiar):
- Initial Swing (leg accelerates due to knee flexion/dorsiflexion of ankle)
- Mid-Swing (swing leg is next to weight bearing leg)
- Terminal Swing (when leg starts to slow down to prepare to weight-bear)


Abnormal Gait

Refers to when any steps/stages of gait cycle are not functioning as described due to conditions such as:
• Decreased strength/balance/stability
• Pain (limp)
• Amputation
• LE surgery
• LE fracture


Trendelenberg Gait

• Atypical gait that occurs during stance phase
• Lateral thrust of pelvis due to weakness of gluteus medius/minimus (if right glutes are weak, left pelvis shows lateral thrust)


Footdrop Gait

Abnormal gait also called “steppage gait.”
• Occurs during swing phase
• caused by weakness/loss of dorsiflexion
• Compensates by lifting knee higher


Preparation for Ambulation of Pt.

• Obtain informed consent for ambulation activities
• Assess/evaluate pt.—know capabilities/limits (strength and balance)
• Determine appropriate assistive device and gait pattern based on assessment, weight-bearing status and goals
• Inspect the device for safety (Sharp parts? Good working order?)
• Measure/adjust equipment for Pt.
• Use gait belt and DO NOT LET GO when pt. is standing
• Remove items in environment that may compromise safety (leg rests on w/c, rugs, obstacles)
• Lock the w/c and bed
• Always use good body mechanics and beware of YOUR posture as well as Pt.’s. (Can you catch them if they fall?)


Weight Bearing Terms

NWB = Non Weight Bearing
TDWB = Touch Down Weight Bearing
TTWB = Toe Touch Weight Bearing
PWB = Partial Weight Bearing
WBAT = Weight Bearing as Tolerated
FWB = Full Weight Bearing


Supportive Assistive Devices, most to least stable

• Most: Parallel bars
• Walker
• Axillary crutches
• Forearm crutches
• 2 canes
• Least: 1 cane


Unilateral Assistive Devices, most to least supportive

• Most: Hemiwalker
• Large based quad cane
• Small based quad cane
• Least: Monopoint or Standard cane


Assistive Devices in order of most to least coordination required

• Least: Parallel bars
• Rolling Walker
• Standard/Reciprocal Walker
• Cane
• Most: Crutches


Axillary Crutches

Crutches that go under armpit (2" from).
• Can be used to restrict weight bearing, on stairs, and may allow a more normal gait pattern/speed
• Pad is NOT for weight bearing; weight is borne through hands on hand grips


Loftstrand/Forearm Crutches

Longer term option than axillary crutches.
• Often easier to use during ADLs
• Used when Pt. doesn’t need trunk stability/support of axillary crutches, but needs more than a cane provides.
• Eliminate danger of injury to axillary vessels/nerves



• May be metal or wood with single shaft and one handgrip.
• Monopoint cane has one foot at base.
• Quad cane has four feet at base, small or large size/width
• Hemiwalker/Walkercane is considered in cane category
• Not used for limiting weight bearing or NWB status; but, they do provide some support and assist with balance



Come in several styles including folding, rolling, reciprocal, and stair climbing. Standard walker has rubber tip at each of four legs and must be picked up to move.

Rolling Walker: When LOB or too much weakness in arms/legs to pick up standard walker. Has 2 or 4 wheels.

Reciprocal Walker: Designed so each side moves forward independently. Do not have to be picked up.

Platform Attachment: Used for individuals who cannot weight bear through wrist/hand due to injuries/deformities/etc. Should NOT be used to support flaccid arm.


Errors when Measuring for Fit of Assistive Devices

• Pt. evaluated with improper posture
• Pt. elevates/hunches shoulders
• Pt. drops shoulders, leans laterally, or flexes at hips
• Measurement made without Pt.’s shoes on


Reciprocal (Alternating) Gait Patterns with Assistive Devices

Most individuals move reciprocally (most typical gait used with devices).
• One foot at a time, alternating with walking aid. Hands and feet move separately/opposing
• Slow but stable, less stressful (on heart and upper limbs)
**INCLUDES: 4 pt., Mod 4 pt., 3 pt., 2 pt., Mod 2 pt. gaits


4 Point Gait

Uses bilateral assistive devices/reciprocal walker.
• 4 separate movements
• (With left foot injury): Right crutch, left foot, left crutch, right foot
• Extremely slow since only 1 item moved at a time, leaving others stable/on ground.


Modified 4 Point Gait

Similar to 4 Point pattern, but only one assistive device (ie: hemiwalker or crutch) is used (unilateral).
• 3 separate movements
• Device forward, opposite LE, then remaining loose arm/LE
• Single device typically placed on side OPPOSITE involved/injured LE


3 Point Gait

Requires use of bilateral assistive devices: crutches, standard walker/rolling walker.
• Device(s) placed forward, then affected LE, taking body weight on the hands, then stepping through with non-affected foot.
• Crutches forward, then limbs.


2 Point Gait

Requires use of bilateral assistive devices or reciprocal walker. "Cross Country Skiing"
• Very similar to 4 Point pattern, but only 2 movements.
• One UE/device moved simultaneously with opposite LE, then remaining UE/device with opposite LE.


Modified 2 Point Gait

Similar to 2 Point pattern but only one assistive device (usually when moving down to a cane).
• Single device placed on Pt.’s non-involved side
• Device and involved LE move forward together, then non-involved foot.


Simultaneous (Swinging) Gait Patterns (about)

These patterns require use of a pair of axillary or forearm crutches.
• Fast, but very energy consuming
• Usually used by younger/fitter clients
• Hard on upper body
**Not typically taught by OTAs!


Simultaneous (Swinging) Gait Patterns (list)

• Drag-to-Gait: both crutches advance, feet drag through on floor just behind crutches

• Swing-to-Gait: Both crutches advance, followed by swinging of feet slightly off floor behind crutches

• Swing-Through-Gait: Both crutches advance, feet swing through behind the crutches


Transitional Movement

Changes of posture or movement from one position to another.


Functional Mobility: in Home vs. Community

In the home: when client can ambulate distances greater than 50 feet with or without assistive devices.

In the community: when client can ambulate distances greater than 150 feet with or without assistive devices.