In patients with spastic hemiparesis, centre of foot pressure (CoP) is shifted toward the unaffected limb during quiet stance. We hypothesised that abnormal gait features would correlate with the degree of asymmetry during stance. In 15 patients and 17 normals we recorded CoP and body sway by a force platform and measured spatial-temporal variables of gait with pedobarography. In patients CoP was shifted toward the unaffected limb and sway was larger than in normals. CoP position was associated with the decrease in strength of the affected lower-limb muscles. Spatio-temporal variables of gait were also affected by the disease. Cadence and velocity were decreased, duration of single support on the unaffected limb and of double support were increased with respect to normals. The degree of impairment of gait variables correlated with CoP. We found a negative relationship between velocity or cadence and CoP, and a positive relationship between duration of single support and CoP in the unaffected but not in the affected limb. Duration of double support correlated positively with CoP. CoP asymmetry during both standing and walking suggests that postural and gait problems share some common neural origin in hemiparetic patients. This asymmetry affects gait performance by increasing the time and effort needed to shift body weight toward the affected limb. The degree of postural asymmetry measured by stabilometry is associated with the level of impairment of gait variables.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine