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Motion analysis center

Motion analysis center

Shriners Hospitals for Children is an internationally recognized leader in clinical motion analysis. The motion analysis centers (MACs) of Shriners Hospitals for Children complement our health care system’s commitment to provide specialized care to children with orthopaedic conditions, including those caused by neuromuscular problems, such as cerebral palsy.

When we understand how a child with mobility impairment moves, we can help them move more efficiently, more effortlessly and more confidently.

The Spokane Shriners Hospital’s Walter E. and Agnes M. Griffin Motion Analysis Center (MAC) utilizes computer technology, along with engineering and therapy to provide quantitative measurement of a child’s function during walking to help the physicians make the best treatment decision for children.

Using this technology, we can more accurately measure and analyze the walking patterns of children and adolescents, ages 5 to 21, with complex motion problems resulting from:

  • Cerebral palsy
  • Club feet
  • Developmental variants such as leg length discrepancy or bony malalignment
  • Hip, leg or knee disorders
  • Other foot disorders; flat feet and in-toeing

Motion analysis center staff

Results of the testing are reviewed by a multidisciplinary team of specialists.

Medical Director
Glen Baird, M.D., Orthopaedic Surgeon

Mark McMulkin, Ph.D., Bio-Mechanical Engineer

Physical Therapist
Shelley Mader, M.P.T.

Tayler Elizondo, M.S.


The Spokane Shriners Hospital MAC is the first in the Pacific Northwest to achieve ‘full accreditation’ status from the Commission for Motion Laboratory Accreditation, Inc. (CMLA) and is one of the few fully accredited centers in the United States.


The research work in the MAC results in one to two articles published in peer-reviewed medical journals and five to six presentations on research studies at medical conferences each year.

What can I expect during a motion center evaluation?

Before we start, our staff will explain the entire process to you and answer any of your questions. A typical study will take two to three hours.

A motion center study consists of:

  • Foot pressure analysis sensors in a mat record the pressure underneath the foot when the patient walks across
  • Motion capture: reflective markers are placed on the patient for static and walking trials
  • EMG: muscle activity electrodes measure the electrical activity produced when muscles contract
  • Physical exam: range of motion, strength, motor control, spasticity, muscle tone, balance
  • Video taping: overall look at a patient’s ability to move
  • Oxygen cost: determines how much oxygen is used for walking

What happens next?

The data, together with the goals a patient has established for themselves, is used by the physicians to determine the best course of treatment for a child. We will analyze the results. The data processing and staff interpretation can take up to six weeks

Does the study hurt?

Nothing in the motion analysis center hurts. The sticky tape on the back of the reflective markers can feel like removing a Band-aid®.

Will this study help me walk?

This study is a tool to help the doctors understand how you walk. We’ll use this information to make the best possible decisions

Will I need to go back to the motion analysis center?

You may need to return to the MAC again if the doctor feels it is important for your plan of care or for follow-up to a treatment you received.

Request an appointment

To request an appointment, please contact our intake coordinator at 509-623-0431 or 888-895-5951. All services are provided regardless of the families’ ability to pay.