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Scissor gait

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

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Scissor gait is the term used to describe the manner of walking that is seen in patients with spastic paraplegia, the features are:

  • rigidity and excessive adduction of the leg in swing
  • plantar flexion of the ankle
  • flexion at the knee
  • adduction and internal rotation at the hip
  • contractures of all spastic muscles

The individual is thus forced to walk up on tip-toe, the other contractures resulting in the knees rubbing together and crossing in a manner analogous to scissors.

In addition to a scissor gait, there may be complicated assisting movements of the upper limbs when walking.


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