Pathological gaits: inefficiency is not a rule

L. Tesio, G. S. Roi, F. Möller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Theenergy expenditure per unit distance, or cost of gait, depends on the efficiency of the locomotory mechanism, which is a function of speed. We compared the cost of gait at corresponding speeds between pathologic (hemiplegic, above-knee amputee, paraplegic) and normal subjects respectively, using a polynomial regression on data available from the literature. In all pathologies the cost-speed function showed a minimum at a speed which may be defined as optimum, as in normal gait. Within the speed range possible for the patients, the cost-speed functions were significantly different from the normal one in the above-knee amputee and in the paraplegic, but not in the hemiplegic. In the amputee, the minimum cost was increased by 38% with respect to that of the normal at a corresponding speed. In contrast, the minimum cost was increased by only 11 % in the paraplegic, despite the much more severe impairment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-50
Number of pages4
JournalClinical Biomechanics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1991


  • amputation
  • efficiency
  • energy expenditure
  • hemiplegia
  • paraplegia
  • Pathologic gait

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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