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Gait and Motion Analysis Lab

Gait LabThe Gait & Motion Analysis Lab at Children’s of Alabama uses the BTS Smart DX software for gait and motion analysis. Interpretation of gait and motion analysis used for guiding decisions for regarding surgical, therapy and orthotic interventions.

The Gait & Motion Analysis Lab team is led by a pediatric orthopedic surgeon. A team of physical therapists perform the gait analysis, collect data and generate a report. The report is then reviewed by the team for interpretation. Clinical recommendations are made under the leadership of the pediatric orthopedic surgeon. Findings and recommendations are then sent to the referring physician.


A comprehensive gait analysis consists of a clinical evaluation, 3D kinematics, kinetics, and EMG.

  • Clinical Evaluation—A comprehensive evaluation performed by two physical therapists to measure joint ROM, muscle strength, spasticity, video analysis of gait and summarize medical history, current functional level and family goals for intervention.
  • Kinematics—Reflective markers are placed on the skin to create a 3d skeletal model. This model is used to record joint angles throughout the gait cycle and is compared to normative data.
  • Kinetics—Six force plates measure the forces between the foot and the ground. This allows the physician to determine the amount of force that is generated around each joint.
  • EMG—Electrodes record the electrical activity of the muscles. Our lab currently has the ability to record EMG data for up to 8 channels via surface electrodes. An Orthotic analysis consists of a clinical exam and 2D video analysis of gait with real time ground reaction force vectors for the purpose of orthotic prescription.


Appropriate referrals include children with cerebral palsy, myelomeningocele, other neuromuscular conditions that cause significant impairment to gait, or when a major change in treatment is being considered, for example surgery, therapy, or orthotics.

The ideal candidate for a comprehensive gait analysis is:

  • Age 4 or over,
  • Tolerant of tactile stimuli,
  • Independent walker with or without assistive device
  • Has the ability to walk 20 feet multiple times
  • Has the ability to follow directions & cooperate with a 2-4 hour test.

Those referred for orthotic evaluation do not have to meet all of the above criteria, but do need to have the ability to walk 20 feet multiple times and cooperate with a 2-4 hour test.


Please call UAB Pediatric Orthopedics at Children’s of Alabama at, 205-638-9146, to schedule an appointment with one of our orthopedic surgeons for a referral to the Gait & Motion Analysis Lab at Children’s of Alabama.