Walking poststroke is characterized by incoordination and asymmetry. While asymmetry in loading and unloading of the legs has been reported in static positions, it is unclear whether the same asymmetries exist during walking. Furthermore, individuals poststroke often make several adjustments in limb loading and unloading and leg position to maintain a steady walking state. In this study, we quantify loading and unloading asymmetry poststroke during walking and its relation to leg kinematics. The magnitude of paretic loading was reduced and was significantly correlated to average leg angle, while nonparetic loading was increased and correlated with average knee angle. Three different patterns of loading and unloading were identified: concave, convex, and linear. Loading deviations were more pronounced with increased lateral placement of the paretic foot and decreased functional gait speed. Characterization of these deviations may inspire new strategies for rehabilitation.
Volume 49 Number 9, 2012
Pages 1293 — 1304
Last Reviewed or Updated Monday, January 7, 2013 10:04 AM