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Gait Analysis for Cerebral Palsy

Exam Overview

Gait analysis for cerebral palsy evaluates the movements of the lower body while walking.

Gait analysis uses:

  • Cameras and videos to record a person walking.
  • Computers to analyze how well the person walks.
  • Special flooring (force plates) to show where the person's feet touch the ground while walking.
  • Special machines to record muscle activity (electromyography) in the person's legs when he or she walks.

Why It Is Done

For a person with cerebral palsy, gait analysis can be used to:

  • Find ways to help the person walk better.
  • Predict what type of muscle, tendon, or joint surgery (orthopedic surgery) would be most helpful.
  • Evaluate the success of orthopedic surgery that has already been done.
  • Suggest changes in a person's exercise program.

Results

Gait analysis can show the exact movement of the lower body as a person walks.

Gait analysis is not painful, and usual activities can resume as soon as the test is completed.

What To Think About

There are no health risks with gait analysis.

Gait analysis is not available in all areas. It needs to be done by a qualified and specially trained health professional.

Gait analysis is an expensive test. But in the long run, it may save time and money because the test can help guide treatment, prevent unneeded surgeries, and help a surgeon decide which type of surgery a person needs.

Complete the medical test information form (PDF)(What is a PDF document?) to help you prepare for this test.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Susan C. Kim, MD - Pediatrics
Louis Pellegrino, MD - Developmental Pediatrics
Last Revised September 20, 2012

Last Revised: September 20, 2012

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