All levels of the neuroaxis contribute to gait although most gait abnormalities are motor in nature. In assessing gait it is important to not only watch the lower extremities but also the upper extremities for normal associated movements.

Localizing Value

There are 7 basic pathological gaits that should be recognized by their characteristic pattern. These pathological gaits are:

  • Hemiplegic

  • Spastic diplegic 

  • Neuropathic

  • Myopathic

  • Parkinsonian 

  • Chorea

  • Ataxic 

These gaits have localizing value because they can indicate levels (an "y" axis as well as an "x" axis) of neurological disease or systems abnormalities (such as cerebellar or basal ganglia).
Normal gait is demonstrated in the normal neuro exam section of this tutorial.
The pathological gaits are demonstrated in the abnormal neurological exam section.

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