Hello Surgeon

X

How can we help you today?

Special Test

Functional Gait Assessment

Functional Gait Assessment (FGA) is the modification version of Dynamic Gait Index (DGI). FGA assesses postural stability in various walking tasks. It’s enhancing reliability and adding tasks for comprehensive gait and balance evaluation.

Requirements: A marked 6-m (20-ft) walkway that is marked with a 30.48-cm (12-in) width.

Download Functional Gait Assessment PDF File

See Also: Dynamic Gait Index (DGI)

Functional Gait Assessment Sections

The Functional Gait Assessment scale has 10 sections, each section has a task for patient to perform. Total FGA score is 30.

1. Gait Level Surface

Instructions: Walk at your normal speed from here to the next mark (6 m [20 ft]).

Grading: Mark the highest category that applies.

  • (3) Normal–Walks 6 m (20 ft) in less than 5.5 seconds, no assistive devices, good speed, no evidence for imbalance, normal gait pattern, deviates no more than 15.24 cm (6 in) outside of the 30.48-cm (12-in) walkway width.
  • (2) Mild impairment–Walks 6 m (20 ft) in less than 7 seconds but greater than 5.5 seconds, uses assistive device, slower speed, mild gait deviations, or deviates 15.24–25.4 cm (6–10 in) outside of the 30.48-cm (12-in) walkway width.
  • (1) Moderate impairment–Walks 6 m (20 ft), slow speed, abnormal gait pattern, evidence for imbalance, or deviates 25.4– 38.1 cm (10–15 in) outside of the 30.48-cm (12-in) walkway width. Requires more than 7 seconds to ambulate 6 m (20 ft).
  • (0) Severe impairment–Cannot walk 6 m (20 ft) without assistance, severe gait deviations or imbalance, deviates greater than 38.1 cm (15 in) outside of the 30.48-cm (12-in) walkway width, or reaches and touches the wall.
See Also: Gait Cycle

2. Change in Gate Speed

Instructions: Begin walking at your normal pace (for 1.5 m [5 ft]). When I tell you “go,” walk as fast as you can (for 1.5 m [5 ft]). When I tell you “slow,” walk as slowly as you can (for 1.5 m [5 ft]).

Grading: Mark the highest category that applies.

  • (3) Normal–Able to smoothly change walking speed without loss of balance or gait deviation. Shows a significant difference in walking speeds between normal, fast, and slow speeds. Deviates no more than 15.24 cm (6 in) outside of the 30.48-cm (12-in) walkway width.
  • (2) Mild impairment–Is able to change speed but demonstrates mild gait deviations, deviates 15.24–25.4 cm (6–10 in) outside of the 30.48-cm (12-in) walkway width, or no gait deviations but unable to achieve a significant change in velocity, or uses an assistive device.
  • (1) Moderate impairment–Makes only minor adjustments to walking speed, or accomplishes a change in speed with significant gait deviations, deviates 25.4–38.1 cm (10–15 in) outside the 30.48-cm (12-in) walkway width, or changes speed but loses balance but is able to recover and continue walking.
  • (0) Severe impairment–Cannot change speeds, deviates greater than 38.1 cm (15 in) outside 30.48-cm (12-in) walkway width, or loses balance and has to reach for wall or be caught.

3. Gait with Horizontal Head Turns

Instructions: Walk from here to the next mark 6 m (20 ft) away. Begin walking at your normal pace. Keep walking straight; after 3 steps, turn your head to the right and keep walking straight while looking to the right. After 3 more steps, turn your head to the left and keep walking straight while looking left. Continue alternating looking right and left every 3 steps untill you have completed 2 repetitions in each direction.

Grading: Mark the highest category that applies.

  • (3) Normal–Performs head turns smoothly with no change in gait. Deviates no more than 15.24 cm (6 in) outside 30.48-cm (12-in) walkway width.
  • (2) Mild impairment–Performs head turns smoothly with slight change in gait velocity (e.g., minor disruption to smooth gait path), deviates 15.24–25.4 cm (6–10 in) outside 30.48-cm (12-in) walkway width, or uses an assistive device.
  • (1) Moderate impairment–Performs head turns with moderate change in gait velocity, slows down, deviates 25.4–38.1 cm (10–15 in) outside 30.48-cm (12-in) walkway width but recovers, can continue to walk.
  • (0) Severe impairment–Performs task with severe disruption of gait (e.g., staggers 38.1 cm [15 in] outside 30.48-cm (12-in) walkway width, loses balance, stops, or reaches for wall).

4. Gait with Vertical Head Turns

Instructions: Walk from here to the next mark (6 m [20 ft]). Begin walking at your normal pace. Keep walking straight; after 3 steps, tip your head up and keep walking straight while looking up. After 3 more steps, tip your head down, keep walking straight while looking down. Continue alternating looking up and down every 3 steps untill you have completed 2 repetitions in each direction.

Grading: Mark the highest category that applies.

  • (3) Normal–Performs head turns with no change in gait. Deviates no more than 15.24 cm (6 in) outside 30.48-cm (12-in) walkway width.
  • (2) Mild impairment–Performs task with slight change in gait velocity (e.g., minor disruption to smooth gait path), deviates 15.24–25.4 cm (6–10 in) outside 30.48-cm (12-in) walkway width, or uses assistive device.
  • (1) Moderate impairment–Performs task with moderate change in gait velocity, slows down, deviates 25.4–38.1 cm (10–15 in) outside 30.48-cm (12-in) walkway width but recovers, can continue to walk.
  • (0) Severe impairment–Performs task with severe disruption of gait (e.g., staggers 38.1 cm [15 in] outside 30.48-cm [12-in] walkway width, loses balance, stops, reaches for wall).

5. Gait and Pivot Turn

Instructions: Begin with walking at your normal pace. When I tell you, “turn and stop,” turn as quickly as you can to face the opposite direction and stop.

Grading: Mark the highest category that applies.

  • (3) Normal–Pivot turns safely within 3 seconds and stops quickly with no loss of balance.
  • (2) Mild impairment–Pivot turns safely in >3 seconds and stops with no loss of balance, or pivot turns safely within 3 seconds and stops with mild imbalance, requires small steps to catch balance.
  • (1) Moderate impairment–Turns slowly, requires verbal cueing, or requires several small steps to catch balance following turn and stop.
  • (0) Severe impairment–Cannot turn safely, requires assistance to turn and stop.

6. Step Over Obstacle

Instructions: Begin walking at your normal speed. When you come to the shoe box, step over it, not around it, and keep walking.

Grading: Mark the highest category that applies.

  • (3) Normal–Is able to step over 2 stacked shoe boxes taped together (22.86 cm [9 in] total height) without changing gait speed; no evidence of imbalance.
  • (2) Mild impairment–Is able to step over one shoe box (11.43 cm [4.5 in] total height) without changing gait speed; no evidence of imbalance.
  • (1) Moderate impairment–Is able to step over one shoe box (11.43 cm [4.5 in] total height) but must slow down and adjust steps to clear box safely. May require verbal cueing.
  • (0) Severe impairment–Cannot perform without assistance.

7. Gait with Narrow Base of Support

Instructions: Walk on the floor with arms folded across the chest, feet aligned heel to toe in tandem for a distance of 3.6 m [12 ft]. The number of steps taken in a straight line are counted for a maximum of 10 steps.

Grading: Mark the highest category that applies.

  • (3) Normal–Is able to ambulate for 10 steps heel to toe with no staggering.
  • (2) Mild impairment–Ambulates 7–9 steps.
  • (1) Moderate impairment–Ambulates 4–7 steps.
  • (0) Severe impairment–Ambulates less than 4 steps heel to toe or cannot perform without assistance.

8. Gait with Eyes Closed

Instructions: Walk at your normal speed from here to the next mark (6 m [20 ft]) with your eyes closed.

Grading: Mark the highest category that applies.

  • (3) Normal–Walks 6 m (20 ft), no assistive devices, good speed, no evidence of imbalance, normal gait pattern, deviates no more than 15.24 cm (6 in) outside 30.48-cm (12-in) walkway width. Ambulates 6 m (20 ft) in less than 7 seconds.
  • (2) Mild impairment–Walks 6 m (20 ft), uses assistive device, slower speed, mild gait deviations, deviates 15.24–25.4 cm (6–10 in) outside 30.48-cm (12-in) walkway width. Ambulates 6 m (20 ft) in less than 9 seconds but greater than 7 seconds.
  • (1) Moderate impairment–Walks 6 m (20 ft), slow speed, abnormal gait pattern, evidence for imbalance, deviates 25.4–38.1 cm (10–15 in) outside 30.48-cm (12-in) walkway width. Requires more than 9 seconds to ambulate 6 m (20 ft).
  • (0) Severe impairment–Cannot walk 6 m (20 ft) without assistance, severe gait deviations or imbalance, deviates greater than 38.1 cm (15 in) outside 30.48-cm (12-in) walkway width or will not attempt task.

9. Ambulating Backwards

Instructions: Walk backwards untill I tell you to stop.

Grading: Mark the highest category that applies.

  • (3) Normal–Walks 6 m (20 ft), no assistive devices, good speed, no evidence for imbalance, normal gait pattern, deviates no more than 15.24 cm (6 in) outside 30.48-cm (12-in) walkway width.
  • (2) Mild impairment–Walks 6 m (20 ft), uses assistive device, slower speed, mild gait deviations, deviates 15.24–25.4 cm (6–10 in) outside 30.48-cm (12-in) walkway width.
  • (1) Moderate impairment–Walks 6 m (20 ft), slow speed, abnormal gait pattern, evidence for imbalance, deviates 25.4–38.1 cm (10–15 in) outside 30.48-cm (12-in) walkway width.
  • (0) Severe impairment–Cannot walk 6 m (20 ft) without assistance, severe gait deviations or imbalance, deviates greater than 38.1 cm (15 in) outside 30.48-cm (12-in) walkway width or will not attempt task.

10. Steps

Instructions: Walk up these stairs as you would at home (i.e., using the rail if necessary). At the top turn around and walk down.

Grading: Mark the highest category that applies.

  • (3) Normal–Alternating feet, no rail.
  • (2) Mild impairment–Alternating feet, must use rail.
  • (1) Moderate impairment–Two feet to a stair; must use rail.
  • (0) Severe impairment–Cannot do safely.

References & More

  1. Whitney SL, Hudak MT, Marchetti GF. The dynamic gait index relates to self-reported fall history in individuals with vestibular dysfunction. J Vestib Res. 2000;10(2):99-105. PMID: 10939685. Pubmed
  2. Functional Gait Assessment – Physiopedia
  3. Thieme, Holm & Ritschel, C & Zange, Christian. (2009). Functional Gait Assessment – deutsche Version. Physioscience. 5. 5-11. 10.1055/s-0028-1109151.
Last Reviewed
December 29, 2023
Contributed by
OrthoFixar

Orthofixar does not endorse any treatments, procedures, products, or physicians referenced herein. This information is provided as an educational service and is not intended to serve as medical advice.

Angle Meter App for Android & iOS
  • Lifetime product updates
  • Install on one device
  • Lifetime product support
One-Click Purchase
Orthopedic FRCS VIVAs Quiz
  • Lifetime product updates
  • Install on one device
  • Lifetime product support
One-Click Purchase
Top 12 Best Free Orthopedic Apps
  • Lifetime product updates
  • Install on one device
  • Lifetime product support
One-Click Purchase
All-in-one Orthopedic App
  • Lifetime product updates
  • Install on one device
  • Lifetime product support
One-Click Purchase