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Blank Children's Hospital partners with Des Moines University Human Performance Lab to Begin offering Gait and Motion Analysis for Pediatric Patients

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(Des Moines, IA) - Blank Children’s Orthopaedics and Blank Children’s Therapy Services, in partnership with Des Moines University, welcomed its first pediatric patient to the state-of-the-art human performance lab for gait and motion analysis.

“We are very pleased to partner with Des Moines University to offer gait and motion analysis right here in Central Iowa,” says Steve Stephenson, MD, president and chief operating officer for Blank Children’s Hospital. “Ensuring high-quality specialty care to children is our mission and establishing a gait lab for our orthopaedic patients enables us to meet a critical need for children here in our community and across our state.”

Gait and motion analysis uses innovative computer technology and motion analysis to capture movements, muscle activity and forces that the regular eye can’t see. Although people might have similar walking patterns, the way their muscles and joints work together can vary widely. Gait and motion analysis helps to understand and recognize orthopaedic, neurological and muscular conditions can hinder motions that are critical to daily living.

Information from gait and motion analysis, partnered with imaging scans, medical history along with the results of other evaluations, helps the care team recommend the best treatments for a wide variety of conditions that disrupt movement.

Pediatric patients who have complex conditions and injuries are often candidates for movement analysis. Children might benefit from a gait and motion analysis if they have:

  • Cerebral palsy
  • Brain injury and related neurotrauma
  • Complex movement disorders
  • Conditions that cause toe-walking
  • Hand and upper extremity movement problems
  • Limb-length discrepancy and limb differences
  • Misaligned bones and foot abnormalities
  • Spina bifida
  • Other neurological or orthopedic conditions
  • Amputations

“We are excited by this opportunity to work together with Des Moines University to offer this new service to our pediatric orthopaedic patients close to home. Each of our organizations have unique capabilities that, when joined in partnership, allow us to reach and serve more children,” says Lael Luedtke, MD, pediatric orthopaedic surgeon at Blank Children’s Orthopaedics.

Dr. Lael Luedtke, joined Blank Children’s Orthopaedics, in partnership with Shriners Children’s Twin Cities, in October 2020 when the service first came to Blank Children’s Hospital. Dr. Luedtke, along with three pediatric physical therapists and a biomedical engineer from Blank Children’s Hospital, will lead the program. Gait and motion analysis will be performed two mornings a week at the Des Moines University Human Performance Lab located at 3200 Grand Avenue, 4th floor in Des Moines. To learn more about gait and motion analysis, please call Blank Children’s Orthopaedics at (515) 241-7202.