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Learn about your high-stepping gait, including causes and common questions. Or get a personalized analysis of your high-stepping gait from our A.I. Symptom Checker. At Buoy, we build tools that help you know what’s wrong right now and how to get the right care.

Your High - Stepping Gait May Also be Known as:
High stepping gait
Lift leg higher when walking
Walking oddly

Top 10 High - Stepping Gait Causes

  1. 1.Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (Als)

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease. This progressive, neurodegenerative disease affects nerve cells.

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis can't be cured but symptoms can be managed.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, decreased exercise tolerance, arm weakness, shortness of breath, difficulty concentrating
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  2. 2.Spinal Stenosis

    The spine, or backbone, protects the spinal cord and allows people to stand and bend. Spinal stenosis causes narrowing in the spine. The narrowing puts pressure on nerves and the spinal cord and can cause pain.

    You should visit your primary care physician. He/She will suggest treatments which include medications, physical therapy, braces, and surgery.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    lower back pain, back pain that shoots down the leg, back pain that shoots to the butt, difficulty walking, back pain that gets worse when straightening it
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  3. 3.Knee Arthritis

    Arthritis is inflammation of one or more of the joints. Pain, swelling, and stiffness are the primary symptoms of arthritis. Any joint in the body may be affected by the disease, but it is particularly common in the knee.

    You should visit your primary care physician who will likely coordinate care with an muscle and bone specialist (orthopedic surgeon). Treatment for arthritis may involve pain killers to ease the pain, corticosteroid injections into the knee, and surgery in rare, more severe, cases.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    pain in both knees, knee stiffness, morning joint stiffness, knee instability, swollen knee
    Symptoms that always occur with knee arthritis:
    pain in both knees
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  4. 4.Restless Legs Syndrome (Rls)

    Restless Legs Syndrome is a common condition characterized by an urge to move the legs in order to stop unpleasant sensations.

    You should see a doctor if these symptoms continue or begin to get worse

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    daytime sleepiness, trouble sleeping, dull or achy leg pain, difficulty falling asleep, restless legs
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  5. 5.Friedreich's Ataxia

    Friedreich's ataxia (also called FA or FRDA) is a rare inherited disease that causes nervous system damage and movement problems. It usually begins in childhood and leads to impaired muscle coordination (ataxia) that worsens over time.

    You should visit your primary care physician to confirm the diagnosis and discuss treatment options for managing symptoms

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    hearing loss, difficulty walking, constant walking difficulty, sudden urgency to urinate, trouble swallowing
    Symptoms that always occur with friedreich's ataxia:
    constant walking difficulty
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor

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  6. 6.Hip Fracture

    A hip fracture is a break in the upper quarter of the femur (thigh) bone. The extent of the break depends on the forces that are involved, which determines the type of surgery used for treatment.

    You should seek immediate medical care at an urgent care clinic or ER as complications can become life-threatening. Treatment involves a combination of surgery, rehabilitation and medication.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    pain in one knee, constant hip pain, groin pain, severe hip pain, pain in the outside of the hip
    Symptoms that always occur with hip fracture:
    hip pain from an injury, constant hip pain
    Urgency:
    Emergency medical service
  7. 7.Sciatica

    The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve of the human body, and it runs through the buttock, down the thigh and into the calf, sending information to the muscles in the back of the thigh and leg, as well as the surrounding skin. The sciatic nerve itself is supplied by nerves coming from the spine in the lower back. Sometimes, one of the disks separating the vertebrae (bones of the spine) may bulge out a little bit, putting pressure on one of these nerve roots, causing sciatica, or shooting pain down the sciatic nerve.

    You can safely treat this condition on your own. Over-the-counter pain medications such as ibuprofen (Advil) and aspirin as well as muscle relaxants may help. Some people find applying gentle heat or cold on painful muscles is soothing as well. It is important to stay active! Remaining in bed for too long may cause more inflammation.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    back pain, back pain that shoots down the leg, numbness in one foot, pain in one leg, numbness in one thigh
    Symptoms that always occur with sciatica:
    back pain that shoots down the leg
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  8. 8.Piriformis Syndrome

    Piriformis syndrome is a condition when a muscle spanning the lower spine to the top of the thighbone presses upon the sciatic nerve, causing pain and numbness.

    You should visit your primary care physician, who would perform a physical exam, looking for other possible causes of your symptoms. Treatment involves NSAIDs (Ibuprofen), massage, and physical therapy.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    pelvis pain, butt pain, pain when passing stools, leg numbness, back pain that shoots down the leg
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  9. 9.Fibular Nerve Injury

    Fibular nerve damage can be caused by a wide range of conditions, including trauma, surgery, weight loss, and others.

    Make a doctor's appointment to address your fibular nerve damage, and find out the underlying cause.

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  10. 10.Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip

    Developmental dysplasia of the hip is a condition where the hip joint develops incorrectly. This is usually present at birth, and affects girls more than boys.

    You should visit your primary care physician who will coordinate care with a muscle and bone specialist (orthopedic surgery). This condition is treated with a special harness, as well as several types of surgical procedures.

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    limping, snapping or clicking sensation of the hip, difficulty crawling, difficulty putting on diapers
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About High - Stepping Gait

  • Q.Has your walking difficulty gotten better or worse?
  • Q.How long has your walking difficulty been going on?
  • Q.Is your difficulty walking constant or come-and-go?
  • Q.How difficult is it to walk?

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions, check our high-stepping gait symptom checker.

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High - Stepping Gait Symptom Checker Statistics

  • People who have experienced high-stepping gait have also experienced:

    • 11% Buckling Knee
    • 5% Abdominal Pain (Stomach Ache)
    • 5% Consideration of Cutting Down Alcohol Use
  • People who have experienced high-stepping gait had symptoms persist for:

    • 41% Over a Month
    • 23% Less Than a Day
    • 22% Less Than a Week
  • People who have experienced high-stepping gait were most often matched with:

    • 16% Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (Als)
    • 11% Spinal Stenosis
    • 5% Knee Arthritis

Check my high-stepping gait symptoms

Try our high-stepping gait symptom checker to diagnose your current condition

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Check my high-stepping gait symptoms

Take a quiz to find out why you’re having high-stepping gait symptoms

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