Equinus deformity of the foot is a common feature of hemiplegia, which impairs the gait pattern of patients. The aim of the present study was to explore the role of ankle-foot deformity in gait impairment. A hierarchical cluster analysis was used to classify the gait patterns of 49 chronic hemiplegic patients with equinus deformity of the foot, based on temporal-distance parameters and joint kinematic measures obtained by an innovative protocol for motion assessment in the sagittal, frontal, and transverse planes, synthesized by parametrical analysis. Cluster analysis identified five subgroups of patients with homogenous levels of dysfunction during gait. Specific joint kinematic abnormalities were found, according to the speed of progression in each cluster. Patients with faster walking were those with less ankle-foot complex impairment or with reduced range of motion of ankle-foot complex, that is with a stiff ankle-foot complex. Slow walking was typical of patients with ankle-foot complex instability (i.e., larger motion in all the planes), severe equinus and hip internal rotation pattern, and patients with hip external rotation pattern. Clustering of gait patterns in these patients is helpful for a better understanding of dysfunction during gait and delivering more targeted treatment.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)