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The osteoarthritis occurs in the weight bearing joints namely hip, knee and ankle and in lower back. The waddling gait which is typically associated with the osteoarthritis and aging is due to stiffness of the joints and muscles which can vary with the time and activity of an individual. This recurrent change in gait is not an uncommon phenomenon.
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No, this is not common for the change of gait because of musculoskeletal reasons or osteoarthritis. This would need neurological assessment for balance disorders and gait analysis.
The typical and peculiar phenomenon of the osteoarthritis is initial waddling gait which would come with either over exertion (for the age and endurance) or with the rest. In between the gait is normal.
With the rest means any type of rest which includes when one gets up in morning or whenever one gets up from the chair after sitting for say 15 minutes or more.
A typical waddling gait is short steps with a slightly tilting on the side ways (may resemble duckling walk), which is typical of aging/osteoarthritis. There are small minor variation according to the extent of disease in either of the joint. As I mentioned short steps can be part of it for maintaining the balance. The differential diagnosis of this is usually with the neurological origin of the change in gait which can be because of the balance disorders (cerebellum diseases). But the usual neurological disorders do not produce changing gait and the gait affection is usually persistent, although an examination is always helpful to differentiate the cause.
Either of the specialist (falls in both the domains) will be able to diagnose and manage the problem.
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