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Motion Analysis for Children

Mary Free Bed's Motion Analysis Center (MAC) promotes independence for children with gait and movement disorders through objective analysis, education, and research.

The MAC is Michigan's leader in computerized gait analysis, serving children from all areas of the state who have neuromuscular disorders. We use state-of-the-art technology to objectively measure complex joint movements and muscle activity patterns and forces acting on the body during walking.

Pediatric Motion Analysis Services

We provide a comprehensive description of how your child's body moves during walking compared to age-appropriate normal walking patterns. The interpretation of the data can be used by referring physicians to determine the best possible treatment plan for the patient. Services include:

  • Split-screen videotaping
  • Detailed physical assessment
  • Plantar pressure analysis
  • Surface electromyography
  • 3-D joint motion and forces
  • Temporal/spatial gait parameters
  • Energy expenditure estimate
  • Written report with recommendations

Pediatric Motion Analysis Services Explained

The study takes 3-4 hours and includes several components, though not all components will be necessary for every child. Components may include:

Split-screen videotaping
Two digital video cameras (side and front views) simultaneously record the pediatric patient walking. A copy of this video accompanies the report to referring physician.

Detailed physical assessment
Our physical therapist performs a comprehensive assessment of the lower extremities, including muscle strength and control, muscle length, joint motion, spasticity, bony torsion, balance, and overall posture.

Plantar pressure analysis
The pediatric patient walks over a thin mat that electronically measures the pressures under the foot.The color-coded footprints created in the computer identify the areas of highest and lowest pressure.

Surface electromyography
Sensors (electrodes) are taped to the child's skin over particular muscles important in walking. The computer records when muscles are active during walking.  A fine wire EMG study is also available on request.

3-D joint motion and forces
Small reflective markers are taped to the pediatric patient's feet, legs, and trunk. Ten state-of-the-art, high- speed video cameras record the motion of these markers as the child walks down a designated walkway. Before leaving, patients see the 3-D model of their own walk on the computer.

Energy expenditure estimate
Patients wear a heart rate monitor while walking for a few minutes around a track. We use the patient's heart rate and walking velocity to estimate how much energy they expend during walking.

Written report with recommendations
All information gathered in the evaluation is processed and interpreted by a highly qualified, interdisciplinary team of professionals.The referring physician is sent a video/DVD and detailed written report, including the data, a summary/interpretation, and recommendations. This information assists referring physicians in establishing a treatment plan for the patient. Physicians can expect to see results approximately three weeks following the test.

Motion Analysis Center Facilities

The Motion Analysis Center is located on Level 3 of the Mary Ives Hunting Center on the Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital campus. The MAC uses 10 special high-speed cameras with a computerized data capture system that integrates motion, force, and electromyographic data. Cameras are wall mounted around the 1,500-square-foot testing area.

Contact the Motion Analysis Center

Contact Mary Free Bed's Motion Analysis Center for more information or to make a referral.



Motion Analysis Center Referral Form

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