Decomposition of leg movements during overground walking in individuals with traumatic brain injury

H. M. Austin, N. Balendra, J. E. Langenderfer, K. I. Ustinova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Objective: Walking requires precise coordination of bilateral lower extremity motions at all joints. This ability can be affected by traumatic brain injury (TBI). The study investigated inter-joint coordination of lower extremities during overground walking after TBI. Methods: Ten individuals with post-injury ataxia, postural stability and gait abnormalities, as well as 10 sex- and age-matched control subjects were involved in the study. Participants walked at self-selected speed in three experimental conditions: normal walking without any additional task; walking with a narrow base of support, and walking while holding a cup full of water. Inter-joint coordination was analysed as the percentage of gait cycle during which the leg movement was decomposed with 0% indicating simultaneous motion of the two joints (i.e. hip-knee, knee-ankle, and hip-ankle) through the entire gait cycle or 100% indicating motion of only one joint. Decomposition was calculated for each pair of joints and for the left and right leg separately. Results: Participants with TBI showed greater decomposition indices and poorer inter-joint coordination respectively than control individuals for all joint pairs (p < 0.01). Walking with the narrower base of support or with a cup, increased movement decomposition in the TBI group, but not in the control group. Conclusion: The results revealed post-injury gait impairment that manifests as decomposition of multi-joint motions of the lower extremities during overground walking.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)739-746
Number of pages8
JournalBrain Injury
Issue number6
StatePublished - May 12 2018


  • Gait
  • coordination
  • dual-task walking


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