Wasserman Gait Laboratory

skeleton gait analysis Advanced Orthopedic Therapy at Sinai Rehab Center is home to the only gait analysis laboratory in the United States that specializes in therapy treatment strategies for patients with orthopedic or neuromuscular conditions. The purpose of the gait laboratory is to conduct biomechanical assessment of walking disorders and difficulties for the purpose of achieving improved clinical treatment planning and outcomes.

What is gait analysis?

A man walking in the Wasserman Gait Laboratory Clinical observation and radiographs are inadequate to assess the subtle dynamic aspects of walking. More comprehensive information is needed to prescribe effective clinical treatment. For this reason, the Wasserman Gait Laboratory uses sophisticated computer technology to run reports that monitor skeletal alignment, muscle function, and forces acting on the body during walking. The result is an objective and complete assessment of walking function.

What tests and exams are administered during gait analysis?

  • Physical Exam: We begin with a detailed physical exam of the musculoskeletal system, which includes joint range of motion, manual muscle strength, muscle tone, and muscle control. Other tests may be included in the exam as needed.
  • Three-Dimensional Movement Assessment: We use a Motion Analysis Corporation, Inc. Real Time System with eight infrared cameras to measure the position of round markers taped to specific points on the patient’s body. By tracking the marker positions, we can calculate how the patient’s joints bend and the body moves as the patient walks. We use force plates embedded in the floor to measure how the patient’s foot supports the body weight. Custom software then calculates the torque and power generated by the patient’s joints during walking.
  • Electromyography: Sensors taped to the patient’s skin monitor the muscle activity of the legs as the patient walks. This test tells us when the muscle is being used during the walking cycle. This can be compared with normal muscle timing and body orientation to determine if the muscles are used appropriately.
  • Foot Pressure Assessment: We use thin sensors placed in the shoes to measure the dynamic loading of the foot. This helps us to understand certain foot problems and prescribe orthotics.
  • Temporal Spatial Parameters: We use a GAITRite mat to measure the temporal and spatial parameters of walking. Examples of these parameters include walking speed, cadence, step length, step width, and foot progression.
  • Metabolic Energy Assessment: Gait abnormalities make it harder to walk and cause a patient to use more energy. We measure the energy expended during walking using the COSMED K4B2 metabolic system.
  • Video Assessment: We videotape walking to capture a permanent visual record of the patient’s walking function. We can then compare the walking before and after surgery.
  • Computer Modeling: Additional information about walking can be obtained through computer modeling, including dynamic muscle lengths and contractile velocities.

Conditions Treated

The Wasserman Gait Laboratory provides treatment strategies for the following orthopedic and neuromuscular conditions:

  • Lower limb deformity
  • Limb length difference
  • Arthritis
  • Joint replacement
  • Poliomyelitis (infection of the spinal cord)
  • Leg amputation
  • Peripheral nerve injury
  • Spina bifida
  • Stroke
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Muscular dystrophy

Setting Up an Appointment

To schedule an appointment or obtain further information, please call 410-601-5945. Testing takes between 2 and 3 hours to complete. A signed prescription by your physician is required before we can proceed.

Insurance Coverage

Assessment of gait by this sophisticated technique is relatively new, and not all insurance plans cover the expense of this test. Our gait laboratory staff can assist you in determining whether this assessment technique is covered by your insurance plan.