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Gait Analysis: Normal and Pathological Function (Second ed.)

Jacqueline Perry and Judith M. Burnfield pp. 576 Thorofare: SLACK Incorporated, 2010 ISBN: 978-1-55642-766-4

The first edition of this book represented the standard text for understanding human locomotion. This second edition provides an update in several areas. It is not a primer on human walking for someone with a passing interest. The level of detail and the different views of the process of walking will present a challenge for the tyro. The gait cycle, for example, is considered according to its phases, the basic functions and then from an anatomical perspective, joint by joint. Kinematic and kinetic tracings are presented at the point where the function of each joint is considered, but it is not until chapter 20 that motion analysis is discussed; and kinetics (which underpins the motions seen) is orphaned two chapters further on. There are one or two curious assertions, for example that the knee is straight at initial contact; and on occasions it is not entirely clear from the text as to what the authors intend. Again, the handling of pathological gait problems is tackled from the perspective of gait deviations and then, a second time around, by clinical examples.

The mechanics of instrumented gait analysis, from how to set up video cameras to the placement of markers and electrodes, are not covered. Although different proprietary systems have differing fine details, the general principles and the consequences of poor technique are not critically addressed. The last chapter on energy expenditure measurement is a good addition but there is no mention of less demanding surrogates such as the physiological cost index.

I will continue to use this book on a regular basis during clinical gait analysis. As a source of answers when puzzling findings arise, it remains a valuable addition to any gait laboratory bookshelf.

A. Roberts

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