To understand the residual locomotor effects of a traumatic brain injury (TBI) on unobstructed and obstructed walking.
Eight young, high-functioning adults with TBI and 4 healthy subjects.
Main outcome measures:
Spatiotemporal gait parameters and their relation to specific clinical measures of severity and locomotor and balance abilities.
Subjects with TBI walked slower and showed a tendency for greater foot clearances in all conditions. Slower walking was due to decreased stride lengths and not cadence, while higher foot clearances were due to placing the trailing foot farther from the obstacle and increasing hip flexion angles during avoidance.
The results suggest that this highly functional TBI population used increased caution. Measures of injury severity did not provide simple predictions of locomotor ability, but the one-legged stance test with eyes closed correlated to walking capacity.