Diagnostic usefulness of 10-step tandem gait test for the patient with degenerative cervical myelopathy

Dallah Yoo, Kyung Chung Kang, Jung Hee Lee, Ki Young Lee, In Uk Hwang

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Tandem gait is considered one of the most useful screening tools for gait impairment. The aim of this study is to evaluate diagnostic usefulness of 10-step tandem gait test for the patients with degenerative cervical myelopathy (DCM). Sixty-two DCM patients were compared to 55 persons without gait abnormalities as control. We counted the number of consecutive steps and graded into five according the number of steps and stability. Five grades of tandem gait were investigated for association with clinical parameters including qualitative Japanese orthopedic association (JOA) sub-score for lower extremities and Nurick scale and quantitative balance and gait assessments. The number of tandem steps were reduced and the grades of tandem gait were differently distributed in the DCM patients compared to controls (steps, 7.1 ± 3.6 versus 9.9 ± 0.4, p < 0.001; grades of 0/1/2/3/4/5, 1/13/14/15/19 versus 0/0/2/15/38, p < 0.001 in patients with DCM and control respectively). Patients with DCM showed more unstable balance and abnormal gait features including slower velocity, shorter strides, wider bases with increased stance phase of a gait cycle compared to the control group. The grades of tandem gait were correlated with JOA sub-score (r = 0.553, p < 0.001) and the Nurick scale (r = − 0.652, p < 0.001) as well as both balance and gait parameters. In DCM patients, tandem gait was impaired and correlated with severity of gait abnormality. The authors believe that 10-step tandem gait test is an objective and useful screening test for evaluating gait disturbance in patients with DCM.

Original languageEnglish
Article number17212
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


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