Book Review

Title: Gait Analysis: Normal and Pathological Function, 2nd Edition
Authors: Jacquelin Perry, MD, Judith Burnfield, PhD, PT
Publisher: SLACK Incorporated; Number of pages: 551
Reviewed by: Bryan Malas, MHPE, CO

The long-awaited second edition of Gait Analysis: Normal and Pathological Function is now available to the public. Gait analysis pioneer Jacquelin Perry, MD, teamed with co-author Judith Burnfield, PhD, PT, and several contributing authors to update and expand the original 1992 work, adding seven new content areas.

The greatest strength of the new edition lies in its logical, reorganized content presentation, which seamlessly interweaves the old and new into a single comprehensive text the practitioner will find valuable in both its breadth and currency. Since the initial publication of Gait Analysis, the field that bears its name has witnessed an increase in the development and use of sophisticated measuring tools. The reader will see the fruits of this technology interspersed throughout the new edition, including numeric value updates specific to particular gait sub-domains (e.g., functional range of motion, kinematic and kinetic data, normative joint motion data, and peak electromyography activity).

The second edition opens in lockstep with its predecessor, describing the fundamental elements of gait, normal gait, and pathological gait. While much of the original text is preserved, important changes add clarification and needed emphasis to key ideas. Especially noteworthy are the deeper discussions on propulsion, heel transient, and selective motor control, the addition of "the fourth rocker," and the new thinking on the "determinants of gait." Collectively, these inject freshness into the text by aligning discussions with current thought.

The greatest reorganizational changes occur in the sections on normal and pathological gait. The material in these sections is expanded and re-sequenced to improve clarity. "Preswing accelerated progression" and "floor contact deviations" benefit from greater in-depth discussion, as do the expanded discussions on power in chapters pertaining to normal gait.

The second edition largely retains the format of the original as first edition readers will immediately recognize. The new material nicely complements the original with sections on running, stair negotiation, pediatric gait, new gait analysis methods and technologies, and bilateral synergies of the lower limbs. The addition of gait-specific clinical examples and cases to the new edition is especially welcomed.

The treatments on bilateral synergies, pediatric gait, and running form the core of the new material. The section on bilateral synergies clarifies the interplay between the two lower limbs during walking better than the former edition, in which readers were forced to extrapolate the characteristics of bilateral synergies from single-limb phase gait data. The chapters on pediatric gait and running are equally valuable. Both offer good overviews of their subject-specific content. The former includes a discussion on developmental gait, the Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS), and clinical examples that serve as a quick reference guide to pediatric gait. The chapter on running includes relevant definitions and concepts easily accessible and assimilated by readers already knowledgeable in normal and pathological gait.

One content area that would benefit from greater discussion is the section on "observational gait." An expanded treatment on the advantages and limitations of observational gait would have been a nice complement to the textbook.

In summary: As with the first edition, this textbook will remain a staple in the educational setting for both student and teacher alike. If an O&P student needed one book on gait, this would be that book. For practitioners, the textbook is a ready reference that can augment existing knowledge and inform clinical practice.

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