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Permobil Blog / February 22, 2018

Recognizing a Windswept Deformity During a Mat Evaluation

Part 6 in our video series Performing the Mat Evaluation with blog content by Ana Endsjo, MOTR/L, CLT and video by Stacey Mullis, OTR/L, ATP. See Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4, and Part 5.

A windswept deformity is not the underlying issue at the pelvis but rather the result of poor lower extremity alignment. It appears as if the legs have been “swept” to one side by a big gush of wind. One lower extremity comes toward midline while the other lower extremity is moving away from midline.


The underlying pelvic abnormality is usually a pelvic obliquity or rotation or a combination of the two:

Pelvic Obliquity Pelvic Rotation 

Pelvic Obliquity Illustration.png

Pelvic Rotation.png



Pelvic Obliquity Pelvic Rotation
Pelvic-Obliquity_Scoliosis.png Pelvic-Rotation.png
  • The trunk will present with either a scoliosis or a rotation.
  • The head and neck go into a lateral flexion, rotation, and even forward flexion.

Enjoy this last video in our blog series discussing a windswept deformity during the mat evaluation.




Transcript (edited for clarity):

Another abnormal posture that you might see is called a windswept posture. This is usually a combination of a pelvic obliquity and a rotation. Usually you’ll see this is someone has had a hip dislocation or disarticulation or even post surgeries. The tendency is for one side, one leg to rotate inward, so you have inward rotation on one side and external rotation on the other side.

Now we’ve got Jamie in a windswept posture here, what I’m going to do again is palpate the ASIS. Let’s see what the pelvis is doing; she’s got some major rotation. You can see that the right is farther back than the left but you can also see a bit of an obliquity with the right side being lower than the left side. She’s definitely in the windswept posture.

If you look at her spine, again she’s got some rotation so she’s turning towards her left but she also has some curvature there as well. If we look at the head, she’s trying to compensate for that and trying to balance herself so her head is going in the opposite direction.

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Ana Endsjo-1

Ana Endsjo
Clinical Education Manager LTC Division

Ana Endsjo has worked as an occupational therapist since 2001 in a variety of treatment settings. She has mainly worked with the geriatric population, dedicated to the betterment of the treatment of the elderly in LTC centers. Her focus has been on seating and positioning and contracture management of the nursing home resident. With this experience, her hope is to guide other therapists, rehab directors, nurses, and administrators through educational guides, blogs, webinars, and live courses in her role as Clinical Education Manager for the long term care division.

Categories: clinical education department, wheelchair seating, seating & positioning

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