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Gait Assessment

The Motion Lab assesses children with walking disorders and is a joint project of BC Children’s Hospital and Sunny Hill Health Centre.
Your team

Who are we?

Two feet in colourful striped socks

Your team is made up of people from different specialties that include physiotherapy, kinesiology, biomechanical engineering, and orthopedic surgery. We also work with orthotists if your child has foot or leg orthoses or prostheses.

What do we do?

  • We use three-dimensional motion analysis equipment, similar to equipment used to make video games and animated movies, to help us understand and resolve movement problems
  • We create a report that goes to you, your family doctor, your referring physician and your child's physiotherapist. The report includes recommendations on how your community professionals can work with you and your child to help him or her maximize their movement potential

Who do we see?

Specialists refer children to the Motion Lab when they may require surgery, when they need changes to their orthoses, or if they may need some other related kind of therapy. Most of the children that we see have cerebral palsy, spina bifida, or have sustained a traumatic brain injury, and may or may not use orthoses, crutches or walkers.

The Motion Lab opened in 1996 and sees approximately 250 children every year.

Your appointment

Please arrive at least 15 minutes ahead of your appointment time and check in with our receptionist at the main entrance of Sunny Hill. You can ask for directions to the Motion Lab at reception. 

At the Motion Lab you will meet one of our physiotherapists. The physiotherapist will do a number of muscle tests and joint range of motions measurements. 

We will put on the reflective markers that allow our motion capture system [special computer] to "see" your child. Electrodes [sensors] that look like bandages will then be placed over some important muscles. These electrodes allow the Motion Lab staff to see when your child's muscles are working. When the reflective markers and electrodes are in place, your child will walk in a straight line from one end of the lab to the other while the cameras pick up the motion. The whole appointment will take approximately 2-2.5 hours.

What to Bring

  • tight-fitting shorts for your child so the Motion Lab staff can see exactly how he or she moves
  • all your child's walking aids, orthoses or prostheses
  • a camera!

Please don't put skin cream or lotion on your child on the day of the assessment.


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