Gait Analysis

The Motion & Gait Analysis Laboratory offers gait analysis testing for children and adults. This test analyzes how a patient walks and identifies any abnormal walking patterns.

A gait analysis has several components. Together they provide a comprehensive picture of the various factors contributing to the gait disorder.

Motion Gait Analysis

gait analysis testing

What to Expect from a Gait Analysis Test

Video Documentation – The patient is videotaped while walking.

3-D Gait Kinematics and Kinetics – Kinematics is joint motion. Kinetics are the forces that act across the joints. This test provides a 3-D picture of how the body moves while walking.

Reflective markers (small balls) are taped onto the legs, pelvis and trunk (shoulders to hips). Digital cameras record the balls’ movements to measure joint motion at the trunk, pelvis, hip, knee and ankle. Kinetic data of the forces that cross the joints further reveal the causes of abnormal movement.

Electromyography (EMG) – EMG provides information about how the muscles work during walking. We can use the EMG data to see how each muscle acts and how it contributes to the gait abnormality. Pressure-sensitive foot switches tell us when and what part of the foot is on the ground or off the ground, and allow the EMG data to be correlated with the stance and swing phases of gait.

EMG test

Energy Expenditure – Energy expenditure is the amount of energy a person uses. Individuals with movement disorders typically use more energy while walking than individuals without movement disorders. This leads to fatigue. The energy efficiency of walking is critical to understanding the severity of the gait disorder.

energy expenditure

Postural Balance – This tests the nature and magnitude of a balance impairment. Computerized measures of postural balance show how much the body sways while standing still. This is measured with the patient’s eyes open and with the eyes closed.

Preparing for a Gait Analysis

Please be sure to bring all orthoses and ambulatory aids to your gait analysis. Orthoses may include ankle foot orthoses. Ambulatory aids include canes and walkers.
A typical gait analysis lasts approximately two hours.

Gait Analysis Report

After the gait analysis is completed, you and your health care provider will receive a:

  • Paper copy of the patient report, including:
    • Test results
    • Treatment recommendations

  • Please call the Medical Records Department at (650) 497-8079 if you:
    • Have not received your report with clinical recommendations
    • Would like to send the report to another healthcare provider
    • Want an electronic copy