walk 50 feet in the hall, turn rapidly, and walk back without touching the walls
Observe for initiation of movement, stride length, arm swing, missteps and veering, and signs of muscle weakness or skeletal abnormality (kyphoscoliosis, limb asymmetry, limp)
- cute unilateral vestibular lossveer toward the side of the lesion
- variety of central brain stem and musculoskeletal lesions also produce lateral deviation during ambulation
- Difficulties with gait initiation and turns and decreased arm swing can be seen in extrapyramidal disease
- Gait ataxia implies cerebellar dysfunction and is distinctly different from gait deviation associated with uncompensated peripheral vestibular disease
- exaggerated hip sway, rhythmic deviations, and an excessive reliance on touching the wall during walking may constitute signs of a functional gait disorder.