Children's Hospital Colorado

What to Expect From Your Child’s Gait Analysis

In the background, a patient with long brown hair watches as a doctor holds a white plastic skeleton of the hips, which is shown clearly in the foreground. Best Children's Hospital by US News Orthopedics 2020-1 Badge

Once you receive a referral from your child’s primary doctor, you can make an appointment at the Center for Gait and Movement Analysis. After you’ve made the appointment, the following information can help you prepare for your visit.

Getting ready for your gait analysis

Prior to the appointment, read through general information about a visit to Children’s Hospital Colorado.

Complete the questionnaire and bring it with you to the Gait Lab appointment. We need this information before we can start the gait analysis. Call 720-777-5805 if you have any questions.

Additionally, bring any assistive devices your child typically uses, including braces, crutches or walkers. We observe movement with and without these devices.

What to wear for a gait analysis

Your child should wear clothing that allows them to move freely. This is because it’s easier to see their lower body in motion when clothing allows for free movement. We recommend bringing shorts and a bathing suit.

What to expect from a gait analysis

A pediatric gait analysis typically takes three hours, and we strive to make it as interactive possible. You are welcome to stay with your child the entire time.

The lab itself resembles a movie studio, with blue walls and photographic lighting to provide the best environment for recording movement. We’ll ask your child to walk the distance of the room several times. This is challenging for some kids, but we work with you to make sure your child is as comfortable as possible throughout the appointment. Many kids enjoy getting to dress up in the movement sensors and being turned into a so-called “robot.” Plus, they can choose a toy to take home at the end of their appointment.

Steps in a gait analysis study

A gait analysis is complex and involves numerous steps, specialists and advanced equipment to produce a motion analysis report.

Support and resources for your family

In some cases, the gait analysis and recommended treatment can be complex and require explanation. While most families talk through the analysis and treatment plan with their referring physician, families can also request a conference with members of our team. We’re happy to answer questions and provide addition information to help support your treatment decision.

Other suggestions for your gait lab visit

Because your gait lab visit can last several hours and may involve different tasks, we like to keep the study room calm, quiet and free of distractions. If you have other children with you on the day of the appointment, you are welcome to contact Children's Colorado’s Creative Play Center for a free and safe play area.