Characteristics of gait in hemiplegia

Top Stroke Rehabil. Winter 2001;7(4):1-18. doi: 10.1310/JB16-V04F-JAL5-H1UV.


The following review examines the walking patterns of patients who have hemiplegia, primarily as a result of a stroke. Attention is given to the changes in the distance and temporal factors of walking, phasic patterns and joint ranges of motion throughout the walking cycle, the ground reaction forces, joint moments of force, joint powers, energy expenditure, and muscle activation patterns. The effect of orthotic intervention on these walking parameters is also addressed. A frequently cited issue regarding the gait patterns of these patients was that their walking patterns exhibit significant deviations from normal healthy individuals. Although hemiplegia is primarily associated with unilateral motor involvement, changes in almost all of the parameters used to assess walking were evident on both the involved and uninvolved sides of the body. Last, although hemiplegia appears to reflect a single diagnostic category, there is large interindividual variability in the patterns of gait deviations, which suggests that the management and treatment of these patients need to address the unique deficits of the individual.