Muscular Dystrophy

Myopathic Gait

Typical gait changes seen in patients with muscular dystrophy. Note the waddling, which allows his body weight to unweight his leg when he walks, since he does not have sufficient proximal strength to pick up his hips. His legs also circumduct because it takes less strength than lifting his legs. Patients with muscular dystrophy also tend to back-bow their knees to compensate for quadraceps weakness, in order to stabilize their knees.


Gower's sign

Typical maneuver to arise from sitting to standing when there is severe proximal weakness. From a supine position, the person will roll over to get on their hands and knees, extend their legs, then walk their hands up their legs and thighs to push their body up.



With myotonia, there is the inability to relax after a contraction. Note this patient cannot relax his thumb contraction following percussion of his thenar eminence. This is typically seen in myotonic dystrophy.


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