Clinical Gait Analysis and Its Role in Treatment Decision-Making

Roy B. Davis, III, PhD, Sylvia Õunpuu, MSc, Peter A. DeLuca, MD, Mark J. Romness, MD


August 14, 2002

How Are Gait Data Interpreted?

The process of gait data collection, as described above, yields the following:

  • video recordings,

  • clinical measures,

  • stride and temporal gait data, such as step length, cadence, and walking speed,

  • three-dimensional joint and segment motion plots (kinematics),

  • three-dimensional joint torque or moment and power (kinetics) results,

  • electromyographic (EMG) tracings, and

  • a measurement of metabolic energy expenditure.

These parameters are then evaluated to identify abnormalities using a database of normal ambulators and knowledge of normal gait biomechanics as baseline. Deviations from normal are always interpreted in the context of their relative impact on gait function. These multiple sources of data provide useful redundancy, allowing corroborating information to be identified and conflicting observations to be understood.