The impact of preoperative gait analysis on the orthopaedic care of 97 patients (101 gait analyses) at the authors' institution was evaluated. For the 70 patients for whom a specific treatment plan had been outlined before the preoperative gait study, the treatment plan was altered in 62 (89%) after the gait analysis study. In 10 of the 70 patients with specific treatment plans before the gait study, the referring physician also served as the physician in the gait laboratory; ultimate treatment was changed in nine of these 10 patients. Of the 273 surgical procedures recommended before the gait study in the 70 patients, 106 (39%) of these procedures were not done when the gait laboratory data were considered. An average of 1.5 procedures per patient that were planned before the gait study ultimately were not deemed necessary by the treating physician after the addition of the gait data. An additional 110 procedures (1.6 per patient) that had not been recommended before the gait study ultimately were performed after addition of the gait laboratory data. This study shows that ultimate surgical intervention frequently is altered by the addition of gait laboratory data.
From the Childrens Hospital Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA.
Reprint requests to Robert M. Kay, MD, Pediatric Orthopaedics, Childrens Hospital Los Angeles, 4650 Sunset Boulevard, Mailstop 69, Los Angeles, CA 90027.
Received: March 24, 1999.
Revised: July 6, 1999.
Accepted: September 22, 1999.