Motion Analysis Lab

The Motion Analysis Lab at Cincinnati Children’s uses state-of-the-art technology to identify the complex causes of your child’s challenges with mobility.

Each year, about 140 children with conditions such as cerebral palsy, spina bifida and dystonia undergo testing in the Motion Analysis Lab. Test results help the care team:

  • Decide which types of intervention are likely to benefit your child, including surgery and nonsurgical treatments
  • Plan the detailed steps of a selective dorsal rhizotomy or an orthopaedic surgery
  • Evaluate whether your child needs orthotics or a modification to current orthotics
  • Create a long-term plan to minimize your child’s total number of surgeries
  • Evaluate the effects of surgery and other types of therapy
  • Evaluate how your child is progressing year after year

What to Expect During Your Visit

The Motion Analysis Lab is located at the medical center’s Burnet (main) Campus. The lab team includes a biomedical engineer, kinesiologist, technicians, physical therapists, occupational therapists and an orthopaedic surgeon who all work with children every day.

If your child’s rehabilitation doctor or surgeon refers your child for a gait analysis or other motion analysis test, plan to spend about two hours in the lab.

Your child’s testing appointment will include a physical exam to evaluate leg movement, muscle strength and other measures. The physical therapist will place stickers on your child’s feet, legs, hips and back that connect wirelessly to the testing equipment.

During the test, your child will simply walk from one end of the room to the other 10 or more times. Twelve high-speed cameras will capture every movement and collect data to help evaluate information such as:

  • How well the hip, knee and ankle joints are working and whether they are working well together
  • How the feet are positioned and how weight is distributed
  • Which muscles are engaged in every phase of movement

The Motion Analysis Lab team will prepare a detailed report and evaluate the different treatment options. Your child’s care team will discuss the report, share the treatment recommendations with you and talk about the next steps.

Opportunities to Participate in Research

Many patients participate in research studies in the Motion Analysis Lab. Some of the lab’s recent research studies evaluated new types of braces and electrical stimulation technologies. To learn more, ask any member of the care team. 

Contact Us

The Motion Analysis Lab is available at the Cincinnati Children's Main (Burnet) Campus. To schedule an appointment, call 513-636-4651 and select option 1.

Physician Referral Form

Download our physician referral form and fax to 513-636-7975.