Scissor gait is the term used to describe the manner of walking that is seen in patients with spastic paraplegia, the features are:
- rigidity and excessive adduction of the leg in swing
- plantar flexion of the ankle
- flexion at the knee
- adduction and internal rotation at the hip
- contractures of all spastic muscles
The individual is thus forced to walk up on tip-toe, the other contractures resulting in the knees rubbing together and crossing in a manner analogous to scissors.
In addition to a scissor gait, there may be complicated assisting movements of the upper limbs when walking.