In assessing patients with mobility impairment, the importance of the clinical history and physical examination cannot be overemphasised. The assessment process can be both complex and lengthy.
- The major investigative modalities for patients with mobility disorders are the clinical history and physical examination.
- Mobility impairment may arise from disorders of volition, perception, strength, mechanics and coordination.
- Gait (walking) patterns associated with specific pathological processes can be identified by any medical observer; a detailed knowledge of the components of normal gait is not necessary to do this.
- Even when the cause of impaired mobility appears to localise to a specific anatomical structure or system, it is necessary to determine whether the problem is local or systemic.