Common gait abnormalities of the knee in cerebral palsy

Clin Orthop Relat Res. 1993 Mar;(288):139-47.


Gait abnormalities in children with cerebral palsy are the consequence of contractures across joints, muscle spasticity, and phasically inappropriate muscle action. Though abnormalities involving one of the major joints of the lower extremity will usually have consequences on the function of the other joints, it is possible to recognize certain primary disorders at each joint. The most common gait abnormalities of the knee in patients with cerebral palsy occur in the sagittal plane. Based on the experience gained from performing gait analysis on more than 588 patients with cerebral palsy, four primary gait abnormalities of the knee have been identified: jump knee, crouch knee, stiff knee, and recurvatum knee. In this review, each abnormality is described by its motion analysis laboratory profile (physical examination, motion parameters, electromyography [EMG] data, and force plate data). The most common etiologies and the consequences for gait of each disorder are also considered. Appreciation of the most common pathologic patterns of gait should facilitate accurate and detailed analysis of the individual patient with gait abnormalities.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Cerebral Palsy / complications*
  • Cerebral Palsy / physiopathology
  • Gait*
  • Humans
  • Knee Joint / physiopathology*
  • Movement Disorders / classification*
  • Movement Disorders / etiology
  • Movement Disorders / physiopathology