The Movement Science Laboratory at Scottish Rite Hospital is an integrated part to the treatment of our patients. The team uses leading-edge technology to evaluate and identify movement to help our doctors make decisions about the best treatment options for the child.
The Movement Science Lab (MSL), also known as the gait lab, has two main focuses: clinical evaluations and research. Clinically, our MSL team works directly with our orthopedic doctors to help provide options to determine the best course of treatment for each child. Doctors are provided with a detailed analysis of their patient’s walking ability including how the joints move, when the muscles are firing, and the power generated through their legs.
Scottish Rite Hospital is one of the few institutions in the area to have a premier movement science lab. During a Movement Science appointment, small reflective markers are placed on the child’s body and special high speed motion capture cameras record the child’s movement in three dimensions while performing certain tasks (walking, running, squatting, etc.). This equipment is the same technology used to make animations, video games, and movie special effects. MSL staff processes and summaries the data so doctors can analyze and help create their treatment plan.
Other tools utilized in the lab include a special plate that is in the floor, which allows the team to measure and evaluate the patient’s footprint as they walk. It shows exactly where and how high the pressure is under different areas of the foot. This device helps with the assessment of children with specific foot problems. Other equipment in the lab measures muscle strength or how efficiently the body uses oxygen with every breath.
The other focus of the Movement Science Lab is research. As an integrated part of the hospital’s mission, the research conducted allows the team to better understand and measure how well the treatment plans our doctors provide to our patients improve their function. The lab will see patients before and after treatment in order to measure the effectiveness of the care. The purpose of the research is to compare patient outcomes following different surgical procedures, assess a specific treatment across varying types of patients, define the improvements of the child’s conditions following physical and occupational therapy, and evaluate the effectiveness of various orthoses and prosthetic limb components. The research continues to educate our staff and allows the team to provide the best possible care to each patient.
Overall, our Movement Science Lab gives our doctors a more in-depth analysis of how a patient’s body moves. Whether it is the child’s hips, knees or ankles, the equipment our lab uses guides our doctors in providing the best treatment plan. It is through the clinical evaluations and dedication to research that our movement science lab is world-renowned.