Motion Analysis Center

The Motion Analysis Center at St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital uses advanced technology to evaluate muscular, joint and neurological problems.

What Is Motion Analysis?

When children have walking problems, their muscles and joints work together differently. Three-dimensional motion analysis is a tool physicians use, along with other tests, to determine the best treatment. Collected information is used to improve walking abilities. Recommendations may include any or all of the following: Bracing, assistive devices, physical therapy, surgery or medication.

What Should My Child Bring or Wear?

Your child should bring his/her braces and any assistive devices. He/she should wear athletic shorts with an elastic waist (preferably biking shorts) or a bathing suit (two-piece only for girls) and a tank top (or sports bra for girls).

What Happens During a Session?

  • Your child will be videotaped walking with and without braces/assistive devices, as appropriate.
  • The physical therapist will examine muscle strength and range of motion.
  • Reflective markers and electrodes will be attached to your child’s legs for data collection.
  • The evaluation will last three to four hours.

What Happens After the Session?

  • Data is used to create a three-dimensional computer model of how child walks.
  • A pediatric orthopedic surgeon and a physical therapist will evaluate all data to determine the best treatment.
  • Recommendations will be forwarded to the referring physician within four to six weeks.

Who Benefits from Motion Analysis?

The Motion Analysis Center at St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital is a leader in Tampa Bay. Families turn to us to help their children improve their walking ability and quality of life. Doctors and therapists trust our skilled team to assess problems resulting from:

  • Cerebral palsy
  • Spina bifida
  • Brain or spinal cord injuries
  • Congenital abnormalities
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Movement disorders

There are age and height requirements to qualify for motion analysis. Also, your child must be able to walk on his/her own, with or without an assistive device.

How Can My Child Receive Motion Analysis Testing?

Referrals for testing are made by physicians based on individual needs. Most insurance companies cover motion analysis testing. However, it is recommended that you confirm coverage with your insurance company prior to treatment.

For more information: (813) 870-4242