Your gait is the way you walk. If a person walks in an unusual way, it is known as a gait abnormality.

There are a number of reasons why a child may have a gait abnormality (e.g., injuries, underlying conditions or genetic factors). While walking may seem uncomplicated, it is a process that involves many systems of the body—including strength, coordination and neurological systems.

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What are the signs and symptoms of a gait abnormality?

A gait abnormality itself is a sign or symptom of a cause or condition.

What causes gait abnormalities?

  • Illness or underlying medical condition
  • Genetic factors
  • Injuries
  • Abnormalities in the feet or legs

How is a gait abnormality diagnosed?

  • Physical exam
  • Additional imaging or testing to check for underlying conditions and nerve damage

How is a gait abnormality treated?

How is a gait abnormality treated?

Treatment depends on the cause of your child’s abnormal gait. If a gait abnormality is caused by an underlying condition, it should correct itself once the condition is treated. Other conditions or injuries may require surgery or physical therapy. Long-term cases of a gait abnormality may require your child to use assistive devices, such as leg braces, crutches or a cane.

The Center for Motion Analysis at Connecticut Children’s can help diagnose and treat complex cases of walking abnormalities.