Abnormality of gait refers to an unusual walking pattern or style. There are many types of gait abnormalities, each with their own name and list of possible causes. More to Know An unusual walking pattern can be caused by diseases of the central nervous system (such as cerebral palsy, Parkinson's disease, or multiple sclerosis), or be the result of an injury or deformity in the brain, spinal cord, legs, feet, or inner ear. Gait abnormalities are common in young children. The types most often seen are in-toeing (when the feet turn inward) and out-toeing (when the feet turn outward). These conditions are not painful and usually resolve on their own as the child develops. If a gait abnormality is not self-correcting, a doctor may recommend special shoes, casts, or leg braces. Some cases might require surgery. Physical therapy can help someone with a gait problem learn to walk more easily and safely. A walker or cane might be advised for someone with poor balance. Keep in Mind People with gait abnormalities can be very independent, but they are at higher risk for falls and other injuries. They may need to move at a slower pace and ask for assistance when walking on uneven ground. All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts. Back to Articles Related Articles Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip Babies can be born with this hip problem or develop it soon after birth. Early treatment can help the hip joint grow normally. Read More In-toeing & Out-toeing in Toddlers What is in-toeing and how will it affect your child? Find out what the experts have to say. Read More Cerebral Palsy Cerebral palsy (CP) affects a child's muscle tone, movement, and more. This article explains causes, diagnosis, treatment, and coping. Read More Common Childhood Orthopedic Conditions Flatfeet, toe walking, pigeon toes, bowlegs, and knock-knees. Lots of kids have these common orthopedic conditions, but are they medical problems that can and should be corrected? Read More Casts Some injuries will heal best if a cast is used. Find out how they work and how to take care of them in this article for kids. Read More Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor. © 1995-2021 KidsHealth®. All rights reserved. Images provided by The Nemours Foundation, iStock, Getty Images, Veer, Shutterstock, and Clipart.com.