Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

The Penn Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Gait and Biomechanics Laboratory focuses on motion and gait analysis for research in order to better diagnose, treat, and understand movement and gait disorders.  Please note: the lab does not complete clinical gait analysis for patients at this time.

Research Purposes

The lab is available for collaboration with researchers who want quantitative measures of movement to validate interventions, predict outcomes, or better understand fundamental biomechanics.

Current projects involve analyzing gait of amputees and measuring differences in prosthetic systems. Past projects have involved assessing gait of injured populations and measuring upper limb motion during every day tasks.

Equipment

The lab contains an 8 camera Vicon motion analysis system, 2 AMTI force plates and an 8 channel wireless Delsys EMG system. The following is a brief description of the output of each of these systems:

Kinematics - Kinematic analysis describes the position and motions of the torso, pelvis, thigh, shin and foot at multiple angles, velocities and trajectories. The clinician or researcher views this graphical information to assess dynamic range of motion during walking or other activities.

Spatial-temporal values - This measurement describes step speed and length, and is used generally to calculate cadence, step length, step width and compare the time the foot is on the ground (stance phase) versus in the air (swing phase).

Kinetics - The force plate gives information regarding the forces acting upon the body in the anterior/posterior, medial/lateral and vertical directions. By using simultaneous inverse dynamic calculations, joint forces and moments are derived. This helps describe which muscles are active during the gait cycle and their contribution to forward progression during gait.

Electromyography - The EMG system uses surface electrodes to allow for up to eight muscles to be simultaneously tested and correlated with gait events in the gait cycle. From this testing we can determine muscle on/off times and proper phase contractions during the gait cycle.

Lab Personnel

Dr. Tim Dillingham, MD, MS - Dr. Dillingham is a physiatrist with over twenty years of experience managing gait disorders. He earned both his Doctor of Medicine degree and Master of Science degree in Bioengineering at The University of Washington. Currently, he is the Chair of the Department of Physical Medicine at Penn and Director of the Gait Lab. Dr. Dillingham also personally examines every patient that is has a gait analysis performed.

Jessica Kenia, MS - Jessica earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Science from the College of New Jersey and her Master of Science degree in Biomechanics from Barry University. Jessica has experience working with patients as an Exercise Physiologist and also interned at Kessler Medical Research and Rehabilitation Human Performance Lab. She is responsible for preparing patients for gait analysis along with collecting and processing the data.

For more information, contact Jessica Kenia, Lab Manager, at 215-893-2678 or email her at Jessica.Kenia@uphs.upenn.edu.

Location

The Gait Lab is located on the first floor of the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation building at Penn Medicine Rittenhouse.

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