What is Gait Analysis?
'Gait Analysis' is a clinical term meaning the formal measurement of a walking pattern.
Where is a gait analysis performed?
Gait analyses are performed in a Gait Laboratory. A gait laboratory is simply a room large enough for you to walk a few steps in a straight line while special cameras and other equipment record your walking patterns. Gait Laboratories are often located within specialist orthopaedic hospitals.
How do I get referred for a gait analysis at RNOH?
The laboratory accepts referrals from within the NHS and private health care organisations.
How do I get there?
The Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital at Stanmore is located North-West of London close to junction 4 of the M1 motorway. On arrival, please report to the Stanmore Clinical Research Facility, which is located next to the Patient Centre, just down the hill from the entrance to Out-Patients. Remember to bring a pair of shorts and any walking aids or orthotics you are currently using.
What should I expect?
The gait analysis procedure involves a clinical assessment of your joint and muscles by a specially trained physiotherapist. After sticking the markers to your legs, you will be asked to walk up and down the laboratory a number of times, taking a short rest between each walk. The whole process may take anywhere between one and three hours.
What is the most important piece of technology used in the RNOH gait laboratory?
The RNOH gait laboratory is proud to be one of the first users of the CODA motion analysis system developed by Charnwood dynamics www.codamotion.com to measure joint movements while you are walking. To do this we stick small markers to yours legs and feet which allow special cameras to record the way you walk. Unlike the standard video cameras that we use to monitor body movements above the legs, the CODA cameras don't produce pictures, but instead provide the exact position of the markers attached to your legs.
Why are marker positions better than pictures?
Walking patterns are complex. It is often easy to see that someone gait pattern is not normal, but difficult even for a trained clinician to accurately diagnose which joints are primarily responsible and why. By feeding the position of markers placed on your legs into our computer, we are able to reconstruct the movement as a virtual stick-figure. This allows us to compare individual joint movement patterns with those recorded from other people.
What else do we measure?
We routinely measure joint forces and muscle activation patterns to help us interpret walking patterns.
What is it all for?
We aim to measure walking patterns in a comprehensive, reliable manner within a friendly and relaxed environment. Referring clinicians are provided with our considered interpretations of these measurements to determine abnormalities, help evaluate previous interventions and allow informed choices to be made about future treatments such as surgery, therapy and orthotics.
What happens afterwards?
There is a lot of information collected in a gait analysis, and it takes a few weeks for us to discuss it as a team and summarise the important findings into a report. The report is then sent to the referring clinician together with any supplementary data or video footage requested, ready to be reviewed at your next follow-up appointment.
Miss D Eastwood FRCS (Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon)
Dr R. Wolman (Consultant in Rheumatology & Sports Medicine)
Mr M. Thornton (Laboratory Manager)
Miss R. Delaney (Senior Physiotherapist)
Mrs N. Thorpe (Physiotherapist)
Clinical referrals should be made to either:
Dr. R Wolman FRCP or Miss D Eastwood FRCS at
Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital
Stanmore, Middlesex, HA7 4LP
For further information please contact:
Telephone: 0208 909 5523