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Glasgow Clinical Gait Analysis Service

The Glasgow Clinical Gait Analysis Laboratory assesses children and young people with complex gait problems. Gait analysis equipment is used to measure how the person walks and using this information a multidisciplinary team compiles a set of treatment recommendations, which can include medical, physiotherapy and orthotic interventions.

Our Team

  • Dr Bruce Carse, Clinical Scientist
  • Mr Andrew Dunne, Clinical Scientist
  • Miss Heather Read, Orthopaedic Consultant
  • Mrs Laura Wiggins, Principal Physiotherapist
  • Miss Donna McHugh, Specialist Orthotist

What is Gait analysis?

Gait analysis is a way of analysing how a person walks and helps clinicians to understand their difficulties. This information is then used to develop a treatment plan to help them walk better.

In the laboratory, we place some skin markers on the legs and trunk using sticky tape and then use 3D motion capture technology to give more information than is possible by simply observing a person walking.

We also use Video Vector Analysis which assists in identifying the forces acting on the legs and help identify how to improve the gait, possibly using an orthosis.

There is also detailed clinical examination which looks at:

  • The movement at joints
  • Muscle power
  • Bone alignment
  • The ability to control movement
  • Muscle tone
  • Balance

Walking is a complex activity involving biomechanical and neurological factors. Biomechanics relates to the movement of the joints and segments of the legs and the forces acting upon them. The neurological aspects involve the control of the muscles by the brain and the nervous system to produce forces. In particular the reactivity of muscles to stretch is of importance. We call this approach to gait analysis ‘Neurobiomechanics’.

Who do we see?

Children and young people with a physical disability which causes complex walking problems. Issues cannot be identified with simple procedures such as observational analysis or routine clinical examination.

Conditions we see include Cerebral Palsy, traumatic brain injuries and other neurological conditions, Myelomeningocele, Muscular Dystrophy, lower limb and foot deformity.

In addition the patient should be:

  • At least 4 years old
  • Able to cope with a session which can take up to two hours, although the pace of assessment can be tailored to the child
  • Able to walk at least 15 metres, independently or using assistive devices or orthoses if appropriate. The use of walking aids is acceptable (e.g. sticks, crutches, rear and forward-facing walkers), however we are not able to assess patients using aids that support the trunk during walking

Gait analysis for adults and children with amputation is arranged by Prosthetics Service staff within WestMARC, primarily as part of the Scottish Specialist Prosthetics Service.

Please refer to the ‘Patient Information Sheet’ links below for more detailed information.

Who can refer?

Orthopaedic Consultants, Paediatricians, Neurologists, Physiotherapists, Prosthetists and Orthotists
Children and families must be aware of the referral and it is helpful where appropriate for the referrer to inform the child’s wider multi-disciplinary team.

Referral Information

This must include the reason for referral, for example:
Considering an intervention and would like information to assist decision making (e.g. surgery, SDR, botulinum toxin)
Deterioration in gait is suspected and objective assessment would assist in identifying management strategies
Information to support appropriate orthotic alignment or management

Referrals should also include a clear clinical question, or information you would like the report to include. This will assist in tailoring the assessment and report to answer the clinical question.

Useful links:

Referral form:

Information about gait assessments:

IPEM: Improving mobility with gait analysis