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Motion analysis center

Motion analysis center

In the motion analysis center at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Greenville, our patients’ motion patterns are carefully measured with specialized protocols and technologies. The quantitative data provides an objective basis for clinical decision-making and treatment planning by our experienced, multidisciplinary team comprised of orthopaedic surgeons, bioengineers and physical therapists.

Our patients

Patients referred to our motion analysis center present with motion dysfunction. In 2019, our patient mix was largely comprised of children with cerebral palsy (41%), foot deformity (15%), bony malalignment and other genetic/neurological disorders (44%). Over 9,000 patients have been seen in our motion analysis center since opening in 1994.

Our approach

The patient’s motion/gait is measured

  • Specialized motion capture cameras monitor the movement of highly reflective markers placed on the patient’s feet, legs, and trunk.
  • Electromyographic (EMG) sensors on the patient’s skin monitor muscle activity.
  • Force plates and a foot pressure platform in the walkway measure ground reactions during gait.
  • Video cameras capture images of the patient.

The walking data is processed, analyzed and compiled

Computer-based gait models combine the data to provide graphical details of the patient’s walking pattern: gait kinematics and kinetics and EMG record. These quantitative findings are then combined with information gathered during a detailed interview with the patient and family, and in a careful physical examination of the patient.

The motion/gait findings are interpreted and a treatment plan is formulated

An experienced, multidisciplinary team comprised typically of physicians, bioengineers and physical therapists meet to review this information and to recommend treatments, including orthoses, physical therapy, muscle tone management or surgery.

Our team

The motion analysis center is staffed and supported by an internationally recognized team of specialists. Our center leadership provides lectures nationally and internationally pertaining to the use of clinical motion analysis and its use in clinical decision making. We are involved in several national professional organizations, including the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America and the Gait and Clinical Movement Analysis Society.

A new method to measure foot motion

The team in the motion analysis center at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Greenville has developed a new method to measure and analyze foot motion. The new approach provides more detailed information about how the parts of the foot are moving while walking. This information is particularly important in the treatment of children with cerebral palsy who are seen in the motion analysis center.

“An important part of addressing the needs of a pediatric patient with cerebral palsy is gathering an understanding of how the foot provides support for the patient’s lower extremities,” said Prabhav Saraswat, Ph.D., manager, motion analysis center. “Foot abnormalities for CP patients are common, so using the foot model makes it possible for our interdisciplinary team to review the unique pattern of movement for each patient.”

Clinicians in Canada and Europe, as well as within the Shriners Hospitals for Children health care system have begun to explore the new, detailed information that this evaluation tool provides for treatment planning.