Patients often seek medical advice and receive treatment which does not target the real underlying issue. As a result, many patients may fail to see results from treatment due to misguided information.As gait analysis reduces the chances of missing important diagnoses, it has become an invaluable tool to the podiatric community.
Although, static exams are a crucial component in diagnosing foot and ankle pathology, the dynamic gait analysis allows a more thorough examination of the lower limb. In doing so it enables podiatrists to recognize the mechanical issues present within the lower limb and foot. Issues which may have never otherwise been picked up. This allows for accurate treatment and prevention techniques to be employed which best suited to each patient in order to maximize the potential of therapy.
Now a part of our routine diagnostic testing at TFC podiatry, gait analysis has allowed our podiatrists insight into the more complex issues regarding structure and function of the foot and lower limb. This facilitates recognition of the true underlying cause of morbidities such as lower back pain, ankle pain and hip pain which may have been previously unrecognized and hence poorly managed.
The diagnostic examination may involve multiple components such as;
– Recording walking technique and analyzing angles and movements of the foot and ankle with relation to the leg. We use specific software which allows our podiatrists to fully utilize the information that your gait provides.
– Running examination using a treadmill. This provides insight into how the feet function during increased intensity. This is particularly informative in terms of determining the injuries which each individual foot is prone to.
To a trained eye, these videos are an invaluable tool providing a dynamic view of the foot and lower limb function. Our podiatrist at TFC podiatry are trained and highly experienced in using this technology to thoroughly assess and evaluate patient’s podiatric needs.
How can it help?
By giving us a plethora of information about your foot and lower limb biomechanics, we can tailor our treatment plan to suit what you truly need. Some things which gait analysis facilitate include:
– Increasing exercise capacity/ efficiency as we can provide advice on technique and appropriate footwear in order to maximize potential.
– Decrease likelihood of injury by recognizing and providing the correct support for biomechanical needs for each patient.
– Monitoring treatment and recovery progression over time. By saving and comparing recorded gait assessments it is possible to determine whether the treatment plan is successful and whether you are achieving the expected recovery. This enables our podiatrists to further customize treatment plans to correct any missing components and encourage a faster and more superior recovery.
What can it tell us?
There is an abundance of untapped information that can be revealed from a gait analysis. Providing information on things such as:
– Weight bearing/ pressure mapping
– Biomechanics of feet such as rolling
– Rotational characteristics and the plane from which the pathophysiology stems
– How well a treatment is working and if any alterations need to be made
– Postural anomalies such as scoliosis
– Leg length discrepancy
– Pelvic tilt
– Genu varum or valgum
– Why pressure ulcers form
– Biomechanical imbalances