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Q & A with Dr. Joseph Khoury

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

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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.