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Motion Analysis Center Milestone at Shriners Children's Florida: One Year & 100 Patients

Last month, the motion analysis center (MAC) at Shriners Children’s Florida celebrated one year of being open and the milestone of screening 100 patients. This was an anniversary that orthopedic surgeon and medical director of the MAC, Joseph Khoury, M.D., was very proud of, as this innovative technology has enhanced his team’s ability to customize care plans based on the needs of each child.

“The level of detail and the specificity of the treatment plan we can come up because [the motion analysis center] is so much better and more individualized for our patients,” he explained.

Our state-of-the-art motion capture camera system uses 18 Vicon infrared cameras, which track specially designed reflective markers placed on the patient. As the patient moves, this information is then translated to the 3D virtual world. Recordings of muscle activity with wireless surface electrodes are also collected. This technology, which includes some of the same technical special effects used in movies and video games, collects information that provides guidance for a child's surgery, braces and/or rehabilitation.

“In our community, there are very few options for this sort of service. It’s a huge benefit to the Tampa Bay area for [Shriners Children’s Florida] to have this,” said Dr. Khoury.

The MAC provides services for a wide range of patients with diagnoses that include, but are not limited to, cerebral palsy, arthrogryposis, clubfoot, muscular dystrophy and spina bifida. However, this service is not only for children with congenital conditions. Our 100th gait lab analysis was with Patient Ambassador Luke, who came to us after a motorbike accident. Learn more about his medical journey with us, and find out how his evaluation in the motion analysis center helped ensure the best outcome for his surgery.

Patient Luke during Motion Analysis Center celebration

Our 100th patient, Luke, is all smiles after his post-operative analysis in our MAC. Thanks to this technology and our team, this active 10-year-old can get back to focusing on fun and just being a kid.

For more information on the MAC at Shriners Children’s Florida, watch the following behind the scenes, “Q&A” style interview with Dr. Khoury in our motion analysis center.

Q&A with Dr. Joseph Khoury, Medical Director — Motion Analysis Center @ Shriners Children's Florida

View Transcript

Dr. Joseph Khoury:

I'm Dr. Joseph Khoury, I'm the medical director of the Gait Lab, and one of the orthopedic surgeons here at Shriners Children's Florida. I have been on the Shriner's Children's Florida team for five years just about and medical director of the Gait Lab for one year. Here in the Motion Analysis Center, we have two full-time staff members. One is a physical therapist and the other is an athletic trainer and they work with the patients in the Gait Lab every day. Also on the team is myself, at least one of the other physicians, two orthotists, and often another physical therapist.

The Motion Analysis Center is this room and the people that work here, but basically when a patient is seen in clinic that's having some walking difficulties we'll arrange for them to come here. A Gait Lab visit is a couple of hours and fairly involved. They have a detailed physical exam that's done in a standardized way, and then they're fitted with several reflective markers on their trunk and legs and they walk on this runway here where these 20 motion capture cameras follow those markers and make a 3D computer model of the way they're walking.

They're also stepping on these force plates that are embedded in the ground, and those forces are also reported in the computer model. Finally, there's cameras that is taking normal video camera of how they're walking from the side, and from the front, and the back. As far as what kind of patients we see here, the most common diagnosis is cerebral policy, but we can see patients with any kind of walking difficulties, even with just a leg length difference or one foot problem or a hip problem.

Having the Motion Analysis Center is a huge benefit for our patients because there are so many things that we can't appreciate just by watching a patient walk or examining them in the clinic. There's so many little details that we can really work out a lot better in Gait Lab. We have lots of different people looking at it as well and lots more time. I think that the level of detail and the specificity of the treatment plan that we can come up with because of the Gait Lab is so much better and more individualized for our patients. 

In our community here, there are very few options for this sort of service. Many times before we had our own Gait Lab we would send patients to one of the other Shriner's Hospitals, the closest one being all the way in South Carolina to get this information, so it's a huge benefit to our patients and to any potential patients in our region here in the Tampa Bay area to have this technology.

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