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Motion analysis center

Motion analysis center

Cutting-edge technology to facilitate objective clinical decision-making

Walking is complex. Children and adolescents with walking difficulties often have different ways of coordinating their movements and adapting to their walking limitations. Clinical motion analysis is used to help understand complex neuromuscular, acquired or congenital disorders that affect gait.

The motion analysis center at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Springfield is one of the most advanced facilities of its kind in the United States, and one of only two such centers in New England, focused exclusively on children and adolescents. At this state-of-the-art facility, patients’ movement patterns are carefully measured and analyzed with advanced technology and expertise. Using this technology, we can accurately measure and describe the walking patterns of children and adolescents, ages 5 to 18, with complex movement problems resulting from:

  • Cerebral palsy
  • Spina bifida
  • Orthopaedic, neurologic and genetic disorders
  • Developmental variants such as leg length discrepancy or bony malalignment
  • Club feet or flat feet

Motion analysis testing allows surgeons to evaluate problems at all joints simultaneously, which enables them to perform surgical correction of all problems in a single surgical session. This leads to improved quality of life for children whose lives would otherwise be disrupted every few years for surgical procedures.

A multidisciplinary team of specialists

Results of the testing are reviewed by a multidisciplinary team of specialists, including an orthopaedic surgeon, biomechanical engineer, physical therapist and computer technician.

State-of the-art technology

  • Specialized cameras capture the movements of markers attached to the feet, legs and trunk.
  • Sensors placed on the skin monitor how the muscles are working.
  • Platforms recessed into the floor measure forces acting on the body as the patient walks.
  • Sensors placed under the feet record pressures under different parts of the foot during walking.
  • High definition video cameras record images of how the patient is walking.
  • Specialized equipment measures the energy cost of walking.

Refer a patient

To initiate a referral, please contact new patient access at 413-735-1234 or 800-322-5905. For more information, contact Denise Gloekler, rehabilitation services and motion analysis center manager at 413-735-1356 or by email.

All services are provided regardless of the families’ ability to pay.