Patient Services Research
Motor Impairment Research

Motion Analysis Lab (MAL)

The MAL serves dual research and clinical purposes. In its research role, the lab acts as a controlled environment for the characterization of motor impairments, the study of factors underlying these impairments and analyses of post-intervention change.

Key research areas within the MAL are based around three primary tenets:

  • Quantifying the biomechanical abnormalities inherent in orthopaedic and neuromuscular pathologies, and measuring change due to treatment of the pathology.
  • Determining the relationships between underlying functional parameters (e.g. balance, strength, range of motion) and the outcome of a particular method of treatment.
  • Assessing the impact of external support in patients requiring assistive devices (e.g. walkers, canes) or other modifications (e.g. AFOs, night splinting, footwear alterations).

The MAL provides quantitative study of motor biomechanics for use in patient evaluation and treatment planning. Typical studies include:

 - Analyses of gait and balance
 - Strength
 - Energy consumption

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Our Facility and Staff

The MAL is housed in 1100 sq ft of space a the Cincinnati Children's Main (Burnet) Campus. It accommodates a 30-foot walkway for assessment of both seating and ambulatory tasks, with additional testing spaces designated for analysis of strength and energy consumption. A separate large exam room is available for patient evaluations and instrumentation for MAL procedures, and can also be used for private consultations with families.

The MAL is staffed by a full-time biomedical engineer, and enjoys routine collaboration with the physical and occupational therapists within the OT/PT Outpatient Clinic. The MAL is directed by Jason Long, PhD, who has an extensive background in motion analysis and biomechanics and has published a number of peer-reviewed articles in the field.