Gait Lab

What is gait analysis?
Gait analysis is the study of walking – a detailed examination of the movements of the limbs and actions of the muscles when we walk.

The benefits of gait analysis
Walking is a complex activity involving co-ordination of the muscles, bones and joints of the lower limbs. Gait analysis reveals defects which are difficult to spot from observation and physical examination alone. It can separate primary problems from secondary compensations, which is invaluable in the treatment of patients with complicated neuromuscular problems such as cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, myelomeningocele, arthritis or traumatic brain injuries.

It can also be used to optimise the selection and alignment of the most appropriate orthosis or prosthesis. Gait analysis is used to study the complex walking problems of children and adults and to plan the treatment of these patients and evaluate the outcomes. Accurate assessment by gait analysis may improve the quality of life for patients, reduce multiple hospital admissions and may keep treatment costs down.

How it works

A digital video system is used to retain a permanent visual record of the patient’s gait pattern. This equipment allows slow-motion viewing of the patient from front and side. The Vicon 3-dimensional movement analysis system uses six cameras to follow the precise position of markers attached to the patient. At the same time the forces transmitted from the foot to the floor are measured by force plates. These data are combined to calculate the various loads acting on the joints and muscles, and their corresponding movements. The computer, using advanced software, constructs a model of the patient’s musculo-skeletal system. The gait analysis team will then analyse the model and make recommendations about the appropriate therapy, surgery or other methods of treatment.

The analysis of results

Reports will be tailored to your specifications and can include

• sagittal and coronal plane video recording

• kinetic and kinematic report and graphic printouts

• electromyography

• energy cost calculation

• a detailed physical examination of the lower limbs

• data interpretation and biomechanical analysis

• summary of problems

• recommendations.

Gait analysis in Edinburgh

Established in 1988, the Anderson Gait Laboratory is staffed by a highly experienced, multi-disciplinary team with particular expertise in cerebral palsy. The present team includes a consultant orthopaedic surgeon, a consultant paediatric neurologist, and physiotherapy and bioengineering staff. The laboratory is currently situated in the SMART centre at the Astley Ainslie Hospital in Edinburgh. In recognition of their support for the laboratory and their generous funding of research, the laboratory was named after Mr James and Mrs Grace Anderson.

How to access the service
Referrals are accepted from any healthcare professional (e.g. GPs, Hospital Consultants, AHPs). For patient referral or further information, please contact:

The Anderson Gait Laboratory
SMART Centre
Astley Ainslie Hospital
133 Grange Loan

Tel:  0131 537 9435

Links to:




  • Marked-up child


GAIT Lab 1

  • Animated figure


Patient Information Documents

Information leaflet on a child’s appointment

Information leaflet on an adult’s appointment

Frequently Asked Questions