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Motion analysis center

Motion analysis center

We are where Hollywood meets health care

The Motion Analysis Center (MAC) at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Philadelphia is one of the most impressive rooms in the hospital. Using our state-of-the-art motion capture camera system, we are able to track the movements of the children we see as they walk, reach, bend and twist. Using our technology, we help physicians and therapists determine if a child will benefit from surgery, rehabilitation and/or orthotic braces. The MAC provides services for a wide range of patients with diagnoses that include, but are not limited to, cerebral palsy, brachial plexus, scoliosis, spinal cord injury, arthrogryposis, clubfoot, muscular dystrophy and spina bifida.

What is motion analysis?

Using our 12 Vicon infrared cameras mounted throughout the laboratory, a child’s movements are tracked and displayed virtually. To do this, specially designed reflective markers are placed on the child. Using the superficial markers, the cameras can track the child’s motion anywhere in the room. This information is then translated to the 3D virtual world and can display the children as robots, cowboys, skeletons or other characters on the screen while their movement is being tracked by the cameras. This process is not painful, and is often fun.

How is the information used?

Motion analysis data is used in a number of ways:

  • Tracking growth - Periodic re-evaluation of your child can be useful in detecting subtle changes that, if addressed early, may prevent or minimize secondary loss of function.
  • Clinical decisions - Motion analysis can be a powerful tool in guiding decisions regarding surgery, bracing/orthotics, medical management and/or rehabilitation.
  • Outcomes - A motion analysis evaluation can help determine how successful the intervention (such as surgery or rehabilitation) has been, or if another intervention is necessary.

Preparing for a visit

For gait test:

  • Clean your arms, feet and legs the morning of the appointment.
  • Do not apply any lotion to your child’s body on the day of testing.
  • Bring shorts and a T-shirt to wear during the evaluation.
  • Bring any orthotic braces your child wears and any shoes they wear with and without braces.
  • Bring any assistive devices such as walkers, crutches and/or gait trainers.
  • Make sure to bring glasses and hearing aides, if your child uses them.

For trunk/spine test:

  • Bring shorts.
  • For girls, also bring a sports bra and a cami that does not cover your child’s upper back.
  • Make sure to bring glasses and hearing aides, if your child uses them.

What to expect during your visit:

  • Physical exam – clinical examination for range of motion, strength, tone height and weight
  • Placement of reflective markers – measure motion in space
  • Electromyography (EMG) – measures muscle contractions (gait studies)
  • Motion – depending on the purpose of the test this may be walking, bending the trunk and/or arm movements
  • Length of visit - exams can take one to three hours

Study results

Our lab is made up of a multidisciplinary team that includes orthopaedic surgeons, physical therapists, bioengineers, orthotists and prosthetists, all of whom meet on a weekly basis to discuss each patient on a case-by-case basis. By using this team approach, we are able to determine the best plan of care going forward for the child, based on the motion analysis evaluation.

Our team

Ross Chafetz, PT, DPT, Ph.D., MPH (Lab Leader, Physical therapist)
Spencer Warshauer, MS (Motion Lab Engineer)
Philip Alburger, M.D.
Corrina Franklin, M.D.
Steven Hwang, M.D.
Scott Kozin, M.D.
Bethany Lipa, M.D.
Sarah Nossov, M.D.
Joshua Pahys, M.D.
Amer Samdani, M.D.
Dan Zlotolow, M.D.

Want to learn more?

Give us a call at 215-430-4189.