In conclusion, we believe that we have proved that the limp of coxalgia is a limp of escape, a limp of defense by antalgic reflex.
The antalgic gait, it should be noted, is not associated exclusively with coxalgia. It is seen in all conditions causing instability of the hip. It is very frequent in congenital dislocations of the hip, particularly in those cases of subluxation in which the phenomena of arthritis predominate over those due to interference with the static equilibrium. We have frequently seen patients with bilateral congenital dislocation of the hip present the Trendelenburg sign on one side and the antalgic limp on the other, or show the antalgic limp only periodically.
The antalgic limp is an indication of the degree of irritability of the fibrous neo-capsule in coxalgia, or of the deformed capsule of congenital dislocation of the hip. It is for the same reason that the antalgic gait characterizes the limp of those with arthritis deformans of the hip. Here again, the antagic movement makes possible the avoidance of pain.