Background: Most people with hemiplegia experience gait changes after a stroke. Abnormal gait patterns in stroke patients vary across subjects and this make it difficult to assess the cause of gait abnormalities. Therefore, it is necessary to quantitatively evaluate abnormal gait patterns through gait analysis for stroke patients. Objective: To develop and evaluate the validity of quantitative assessments of the degree of knee extensor thrust, flexed-knee gait, insufficient knee flexion during the swing phase, and medial whip. Methods: Forty-six healthy control subjects and 112 people with hemiplegia participated. From the 112 patients, 50 patients were selected into each abnormal gait pattern (knee extensor thrust, flexed-knee gait, insufficient knee flexion during the swing phase, and medial whip) with some overlap. Participants were instructed to walk on a treadmill and were recorded using a three-dimensional motion analysis system. An index to quantify each of the four abnormal gait patterns exhibited by the patients was calculated from the three-dimensional coordinate data. The indices were developed based on the definition of the abnormal gait patterns. The index values for the patients were compared with those of healthy subjects as well as with the results of observational gait assessment by three physical therapists with expertise in gait analysis. Results: Strong correlation was observed between the index value and the median observational rating for all four abnormal gait patterns (−0.64 to −0.86). Most of the patients with an abnormal gait pattern had a higher index value than the healthy subjects. Conclusions: The use of these indices in gait analysis of people with hemiplegia can help to diagnose severity of gait disorder, determine the appropriate treatment, and evaluate the effectiveness of the treatment.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes