Children's Hospital Colorado
Orthopedics Institute
Orthopedics Institute
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The Center for Gait and Movement Analysis

The Center for Gait and Movement Analysis at Children’s Hospital Colorado is the only accredited, clinical gait and movement analysis lab in the region and is one of only 14 accredited gait labs in the nation.

About the Center for Gait and Movement Analysis

Gait Lab testing

The care team at the Gait Lab uses state-of-the-art methods like advanced video recording techniques and 3D motion capture technology to analyze your child’s body movement and muscle activity while walking. We create an avatar of your child, or in other words, an electronic image of their movement. This motion capture technology is the same technology used to transform character actors into digital characters for movies and video games.

Fun fact: Special force sensors that our patients walk on in the floor of the lab are built into a 10,000-pound piece of concrete that is completely separate from the rest of the main hospital building. This is because the equipment is so sensitive that it could easily pick up vibrations from things like moving elevators, kids running around and big trucks outside.

What is a gait analysis?

The word "gait" means a particular way or manner of walking. A clinical gait analysis is an in-depth look at how your child walks with or without the assistance of a walker, crutches or special braces. The ability to better see how your child’s body moves helps our doctors evaluate, plan and provide the best possible treatment.

A gait analysis is an in-depth process that typically takes several hours. We’ve put together some information on how to prepare for your appointment.

How we use gait analysis

After a gait exam, our specialists review the reports and make a care recommendation for your child. This could include surgery, if needed, or physical therapy, medications or modifications to any orthotic or prosthetic they use. Our goal is to help your child be as mobile and active as possible.

Why choose us for gait and movement analysis

Our team includes experts from several specialties, including physical therapy, kinesiology, orthopedic surgery, physiatry and engineering. Together, these experts evaluate data from a patient’s gait exam and make a collective treatment recommendation. We produce a comprehensive report for our patients and their families that includes an explanation of the analysis and treatment recommendations.

Our Gait Lab is equipped with advanced motion capture techniques, including 3D motion kinetics and kinematics. Motion kinematics creates a 3D picture of how a child moves and walks. Using double-sided hypoallergenic tape, we place sensors on your child’s body to collect the data. Motion kinetics measures the force that produces movements of the joints when walking. Custom force platforms built into our floor help us capture that information.

Additionally, we can measure how a child’s muscles are working while walking. This is called dynamic electromyography, or EMG. Many of our patients feel like a “robot” when wearing the EMG and motion capture sensors. They even get to see their avatar on the screen.

Because a clinical gait exam can take several hours, parents with additional kids in tow appreciate the Children’s Colorado Creative Play Center, our free and safe play area for siblings of patients.

Who we treat at the Center for Gait and Movement Analysis

The Gait Lab was originally developed to help monitor and manage the ongoing medical needs of children with cerebral palsy. Today, our gait analysis lab sees patients with a variety of neuromuscular and musculoskeletal conditions:

Extending gait and movement expertise and services to adults

The Gait Lab was initially designed for kids, but because it’s the only accredited clinical gait lab in the Denver metro area, it’s one of the few programs at Children's Colorado that regularly evaluates both children and adults. With our equipment, techniques and expert staff, we’re a movement and gait clinic that also specializes in the evaluation of conditions that may develop later in childhood or adulthood.

We typically see adults who experience the following:

  • Stroke or cerebral vascular event
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Amputation

Contact the Center for Gait and Movement Analysis

For appointments at Anschutz Medical Campus or South Campus, call 720-777-5805.

All appointments for the Gait Lab require a referral from a patient’s primary doctor. The doctor must complete the gait analysis referral form. Download the gait analysis referral form (.pdf).

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