Lateral pelvic displacement during gait: abnormalities after stroke and changes during the first month of rehabilitation11No commercial party having a direct financial interest in the results of the research supporting this article has or will confer a benefit on the authors or any organization with which the authors are associated.
OBJECTIVES:To measure the amplitude and symmetry of lateral pelvic displacement (LPD) in patients with acute hemiparetic stroke; to assess the relationship between LPD and walking speed; and to quantify changes in LPD during 1- and 4-week intervals in the early stages of gait rehabilitation. DESIGN:LPD amplitude and symmetry were measured in stroke patients on admission to acute rehabilitation, 1 week later, and at 4-week follow-up. Performance was compared with sex-, height-, and age-matched control subjects. SETTING:Urban geriatric inpatient rehabilitation facility in Australia. PARTICIPANTS:Fifteen patients with a single-hemisphere stroke, confirmed by computed tomography, were compared with the data from 12 control subjects. Patients' FIM trade mark instrument scores ranged from 54 to 124. INTERVENTION:Gait rehabilitation involved twice-daily individual physical therapy sessions of 45 to 60 minutes, 5 days a week, incorporating whole and part practice, mental rehearsal, verbal feedback on performance, manual guidance, and strengthening techniques. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:Three-dimensional motion analysis of LPD amplitude and symmetry; and preferred walking speed over 10m. RESULTS:Compared with controls, stroke patients initially showed increased amplitude of LPD, with no difference in LPD symmetry. A statistically significant linear relationship existed between walking speed and amplitude of LPD (r=-.53; P=.04), yet not between walking speed and symmetry (r=-.41, P=.13). Amplitude and symmetry values remained consistent during the 4-week period of rehabilitation. CONCLUSIONS:These results provide baseline LPD values for patients with acute hemiparetic stroke and demonstrate the relationship between LPD and walking speed. Change in LPD during inpatient rehabilitation was not uniform or predictable, particularly during longer periods. This highlights the need for therapists to regularly reassess each patient during the early rehabilitation phase after stroke, especially given that individual differences can be marked.