The Trendelenburg gait, named after Friedrich Trendelenburg, is an abnormal gait (as with walking) caused by weakness of the abductor muscles of the lower limb, gluteus medius and gluteus minimus. People with a lesion of superior gluteal nerve have weakness of abducting the thigh at the hip.
|Other names||Gluteus medius lurch|
During the stance phase, the weakened abductor muscles allow the pelvis to tilt down on the opposite side. To compensate, the trunk lurches to the weakened side to attempt to maintain a level pelvis throughout the gait cycle. The pelvis sags on the opposite side of the lesioned superior gluteal nerve.
This gait is precipitated by strain to the gluteus maximus and gluteus minimus.
This gait may be caused by cleidocranial dysostosis.
When the hip abductor muscles (gluteus medius and minimus) are weak, the stabilizing effect of these muscles during gait is lost.
When standing on the right leg, if the left hip drops, it's a positive right Trendelenburg sign (the contralateral side drops because the ipsilateral hip abductors do not stabilize the pelvis to prevent the droop).