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news News Tuesday, April 24, 2018 Tuesday, April 24, 2018 9:14 AM - Tuesday, April 24, 2018 9:14 AM

Motion analysis center helps customize care

Motion analysis center helps customize care

The motion analysis center (MAC) located at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Springfield offers state-of-the-art technology for the analysis of complex movement problems. It is a unique center that focuses on optimizing the clinical care of children and adolescents with orthopaedic and neuromuscular conditions, such as cerebral palsy, spina bifida, clubfoot, amputations and scoliosis. The MAC at the Springfield Shriners Hospital has been in operation since 1991. It was recently renovated to install upgraded equipment, improve mechanisms for obtaining data and allow for high-definition diagnostic review and decision-making.

Evaluating patients

During a typical gait assessment in the MAC, a thorough clinical examination is completed by a physical therapist. Following this, children are instructed to begin walking at various color-coded starting points on the floor and to use a natural gait.  Joint movements are measured using a series of near infrared cameras and retro reflective targets. Electromyography (EMG) sensors are also utilized to collect muscle activity and timing. While walking, each foot steps down on new force platforms that measure where the ground reaction force impacts the person’s body, causing associated reactions. The center also collects foot pressures and oxygen consumption. Additional lines and circles on the floor assist specialists in performing the gross motor function measure, the timed up and go test and other physical tests.

Assessing the data

Rubini Pathy, M.D., FRCSC, orthopaedic surgeon, and her team of physical therapists, computer specialists and engineers review graphs that summarize the information collected during gait analysis. A new review area enhances the team’s ability to view and compare results over time and facilitates discussion to determine whether surgery, rehabilitation, bracing or other options are indicated to improve the patient’s function. During the review, the team considers the patient’s medical history, X-rays, kinematics (joint motions), kinetics (forces on the joints) and electromyography (muscle actions) at each instant during walking. Also reviewed are clinical measures of motion, strength and tone, pedobarography (pressures under the foot) and oxygen consumption to determine the energy used while walking.