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South Australian Movement Analysis Centre (SAMAC) at Flinders Medical Centre

Clinical Gait Analysis Service

The South Australian Movement Analysis Centre (SAMAC), or “gait lab”, based in the Rehabilitation and Palliative Care Building at Flinders Medical Centre, provides a specialised state-wide clinical gait analysis service to assist in the assessment and treatment of children, adolescents and adults with gait (walking) disorders due to neurological or musculoskeletal conditions, including but not limited to:

Paediatric

  • Cerebal palsy
  • spina bifida
  • acquired or traumatic brain injury
  • spinal cord injury
  • neuromuscular conditions
  • lower limb amputation

Adut

  • stroke
  • multiple sclerosis
  • cerebral palsy
  • acquired or traumatic brain injury
  • spinal cord injury
  • lower limb amputation

The laboratory is staffed by a physiotherapist and a biomechanist trained in clinical gait analysis procedures. As part of the gait analysis process the laboratory uses state of the art equipment, including a sophisticated motion capture camera system, force platforms embedded in the laboratory floor, surface electromyography (EMG), and an instrumented walkway, to collect detailed biomechanical measurements about a client’s gait pattern.

The aim and process of gait analysis

The clinical gait analysis service aims to:

  • provide expertise in the collection, analysis and interpretation of clinical and biomechanical data characterising the impairments and movement patterns of clients with gait disorders
  • assist in the diagnosis, assessment, monitoring and treatment planning of clients with gait disorders

This is fulfilled through the provision of:

  • A comprehensive physical examination
  • 2-dimensional (2D) video based gait analysis (2DGA)
  • 3-dimensional (3D) motion capture based gait analysis (3DGA)
  • Impairment focused interpretation and reporting of gait analysis data

The 3DGA service provides the most detailed clinical analysis of a client’s walking. Each 3DGA may take about 3 hours and includes the following steps:

  • A comprehensive physical examination performed by a physiotherapist to assess lower limb range of motion, muscle strength, muscle spasticity, movement selectivity, bony alignment and posture
  • 2D video analysis using video cameras filming from different angles
  • 3D motion analysis using the motion capture camera system and force platforms to assess the stride pattern, movement pattern and forces acting at the joints of the lower limb while the client is walking
  • Surface EMG (when appropriate) to record the activation pattern of muscles of the lower limbs
  • Interpretation of the clinical and biomechanical data to identify the key impairments which may be contributing to a client’s gait pattern and address the clinical question raised by the referring clinician
  • A written report summarising key findings relating to a client’s gait pattern and recommendations to assist with clinical decision making as to an appropriate individualised treatment plan for a client

Further helpful information for clients and families are summarised in the following information sheets:

  • Information for Adult Clients information sheet

Eligibility

Referrals will be reviewed by SAMAC staff to ensure the assessment is appropriate. It is recommended clinicians consider the following criteria before referring a client for 3D gait analysis:

  • A minimum height of 1m (for paediatric clients)
  • A minimum walking speed of 0.4m/s (ie able to walk 10m in 25 seconds or less)
  • Able to walk a minimum of 10m at least 10 times, with or without a gait aid or assistance
  • Able to stand for 5-10 minutes at a time
  • Able to cooperate with the procedures and duration of the assessment
  • Good health on the day of the assessment

Referrals

Referrals for 3D clinical gait analysis will be accepted from:

  • Rehabilitation physicians
  • Orthopaedic surgeons
  • Neurologists
  • Geriatricians
  • Senior physiotherapists
  • Senior orthotists

Further information for referrers:

  • Information for Referrers information sheet

Referrals will be reviewed by SAMAC staff to ensure 3D gait analysis is appropriate and will meet the needs of the client and referring clinician. The benefit to a client is enhanced if the referrer can provide a clear clinical question relating to gait which they wish to be addressed by the gait analysis.

Referrals are prioritised by SAMAC staff based on the existing waiting list and urgency of the referral, and will contact the client or family to schedule an appointment.

Please note:

  • Paediatric clients are currently referred by collaborating clinicians from the orthopaedics and rehabilitation departments of the Women’s and Children’s Hospital
  • Non-compensable adult clients referred by clinicians external to SALHN may be accepted pending approval by the laboratory director Prof. Maria Crotty

Referral forms

Please fax referrals to Fax: (08) 8404 2263.

Cost of gait analysis

There is no charge to the client. The charge to third party insurers for compensable clients is quoted after a referral is received, but can be discussed over the phone with SAMAC staff as required.

Contact details

Potential clients or referrers requiring further information are welcome to contact SAMAC staff by phone or email.

South Australian Movement Analysis Centre

Level 3, Rehabilitation and Palliative Care Building
Flinders Medical Centre, Flinders Drive
Bedford Park SA 5042
Telephone: (08) 8404 2661
Fax: (08) 8404 2263
Email: Health.SAMACGaitLab@sa.gov.au

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