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Gait Posture. 2001 Jul;14(1):1-10.

Increased variability of continuous overground walking in neuropathic patients is only indirectly related to sensory loss.

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Sensory Motor Performance Program, Room 1406, Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, 345 E. Superior Street, Chicago, IL 16802, USA.


The present study was conducted to determine if peripheral neuropathy leads to significant changes in locomotor variability. Fourteen patients with severe peripheral neuropathy and 12 gender-, age-, height-, and weight-matched non-diabetic controls participated. Sagittal plane angles of the right hip, knee, and ankle joints and tri-axial accelerations of the trunk were measured during 10 min of continuous overground walking. Standard deviations of stride times and stride-to-stride standard deviations of each kinematic variable were calculated. Neuropathic patients walked slower and exhibited some increases in locomotor variability compared to control subjects. However, these increases in gait variability were primarily linked to reductions in self-selected walking speed and were not directly attributable to sensory loss itself.

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