Study Design. The gait of patients with neurogenic intermittent claudication was analyzed before and after surgery using a ground reaction force plate. Objectives. To analyze the gait characteristics of patients with neurogenic intermittent claudication, to evaluate quantitatively their gait improvement after surgical treatment, and to examine the differences in gait characteristics and postoperative improvement among different types of neuropathy. Summary of Background Data. A number of reports have been published on the pathophysiology or treatment of neurogenic intermittent claudication. However, almost no detailed reports exist on the gait abnormalities associated with this condition. Methods. The subjects were 60 lumbar canal stenosis patients with intermittent claudication who underwent surgery at the authors' hospital. A ground reaction force plate was used for the analysis, and factors related to time and distance (speed, stride, interval, and pitch) were analyzed, as well as factors related to the style of walking (symmetry, reappearance, smoothness, sway, rhythm, and impact). Results. Before surgery, there were abnormalities of various factors related to the style of walking soon after the patients began to walk. Gait analysis also showed that the pattern of gait abnormality and its improvement after surgery varied depending on the type of neuropathy. Conclusions. Gait analysis permits objective and quantitative evaluation of the gait characteristics of patients with lumbar canal stenosis and is useful for evaluating responses to surgical treatment in these patients.
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