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Pathomechanics and gait analysis 

Pathomechanics and gait analysis
Chapter:
Pathomechanics and gait analysis
Author(s):

Graham Chapman

and Philip Helliwell

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198734451.003.0013
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date: 18 May 2021

Gait analysis is the systematic study of human walking. This chapter summarizes currently available gait analysis techniques that are available to the clinician and researcher. Gait analysis can be used alongside clinical history and examination and other special investigations to gain a better understanding of the relationship between joint disease, impairment, and compensatory gait mechanisms. Abnormal pathology leads to abnormal biomechanics, and tools that demonstrate these changes can lead to insights into the effects of the disease on function, in disease progression, and the impact of physical treatments. Plantar pressure measurement techniques yield valuable information on structure and function and are probably the most likely tool to be used in clinical practice. Three-dimensional joint kinematic and kinetic analyses are more difficult to perform and interpret and are likely to remain largely research tools. Gait analysis techniques will drive experimental work to further advance core knowledge and inform future development of customized approaches to conservative therapies such as footwear and orthosis manufacture, as well as foot surgery.

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