The wooden plank is actually part of an old desk – or choir-stall – I’m not sure which. It now serves duty as part of a church pew in the Lady Chapel at St Laurence’s church in Ludlow, Shropshire.
Apart from presenting technical difficulties as a photographic subject in the framing and exposure, what makes it interesting as subject matter are the carvings. Generations of bored schoolboys and/or choirboys have carved their initials into the wood – some have thoughtfully provided dates too. Luke Morris (of the title of this blog page) carved his in 1810, WP didn’t bother to leave a date, but look at the quality of his carving (to the right of Luke)! The earliest date I can find on here is 1780 – unfortunately the initial B is clear, but the rest of the name isn’t.
This shot taken with an old Leica film camera in available church light.
And so, after a silent “thank-you” to Luke for his help in attracting the reader to this page, on to Podiatry matters……..
What is gait? What is normal gait? Why is it important to evaluate and quantify gait after lower limb injury?
Gait – how we walk.
Normal gait – how a group of healthy humans walk. Gait changes as we get older, but consider this – a group of healthy 80 year-olds will have a different gait to a group of 20 year-olds, although both sets of gait may still be normal – for that specific age-group.
Any lower limb injury will affect gait – temporarily or permanently. If the injury is such that it permanently affects the physiological ability of the limb then the effect upon gait is likely to be permanent.
It is important to evaluate and quantify gait because if we are to provide for our clinical negligence or personal injury clients we must know the extent of the injury and how that will affect the client once healing is complete.
Gait is easy to evaluate. Often it is simply not evaluated (why?), or it is evaluated using high-tech gait analysis equipment, and a simple limp or shoulder-hike is totally missed. Or it is evaluated and the clinician is unsure about what they have observed – leading to medical notes which show comments like “improved gait”, or “good walking pattern”. These are not particularly helpful, and may lead another clinician down the wrong path of thinking that the gait is normal when it may not be.
Gait evaluation. Gait is measured against how a group of people of the same age and fitness perform. If gait of the individual is roughly the same as the overall gait of the group then it is normal or near-normal. If the client has to rest more frequently, cannot walk as far or as fast as the group, is in pain during/after activity, or if, during gait, the client has a limp, shoulder-hike, strange arm movement, or strange foot pattern then the gait is abnormal.
Ideally, abnormal gait will be properly evaluated, and the reasons why it is abnormal identified. Only then can effective medical care or rehabilitative measures be undertaken.