Abnormal gait is a walking style that is irregular or different from the normal walking pattern of a typical child. Most abnormal gait issues resolve on their own and do not require any medical intervention. At or around age 5, children should develop a mature gait; and by age 7, most children display an adult gait when walking.
There are several types of abnormal gait in children to be aware of, which include:
In order to properly diagnose an abnormal gait, the physician will need to perform a complete history and physical examination of the child. The physical exam will include height and weight, spine, leg length, and a test of the range of motion present in the hips, knees and ankles. A neurological exam may also be done to rule out neuromuscular disorders.
Additional imaging such as X-rays and MRIs may also be conducted in order to properly diagnose and/or rule out other, more serious conditions.
Non-operative treatments may be beneficial in correcting certain types of abnormal gaits. These include:
Surgical treatment is also an option if the abnormality is severe and causing pain. There are risks and complications associated with surgery, which is usually recommended for older patients with a more severe case of gait abnormality.
If you have any questions, use the online tool below to help us connect with you. To schedule an appointment, please contact our clinic using the information below.
Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital
Houston, TX 77030
Phone: (713) 486-4880
To contact Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital, please fill out the form below.