This gait pattern is reminiscent of a marionette. Hypertonia in the legs, hips and pelvis means these areas become flexed, to various degrees, giving the appearance of crouching, while tight adductors produce extreme adduction, presented by knees and thighs hitting, or sometimes even crossing, in a scissors-like movement while the opposing muscles, the abductors, become comparatively weak from lack of use. Most common in patients with spastic cerebral palsy, usually diplegic and paraplegic varieties, the individual is often also forced to walk on tiptoe unless the plantarflexor muscles are released by an orthaepedic surgical procedure.
These features are most typical with the scissors gait and usually result in some form and to some degree regardless of the mildness or severity of the spastic CP condition:
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
progressive contractures of all spastic muscles
complicated assisting movements of the upper limbs when walking.