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Movement Analysis Lab

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Development of a computerized body model

The Movement Analysis Lab is located in Frankfurt University’s Orthopedic Hospital Friedrichsheim gGmbH and provides an ideal facility for performing clinical research.

Human movement analysis

Human movement analysis begins by designating different parts of the body into separate segments. Each segment is defined by retroreflective markers placed on standardized locations on the study subject’s body (Development of a computerized body model, Figure 1) and calculations of joint angles are expressed using kinematic graphs (Figure 2).

Figure 2. Division of the gait cycle on the basis of the ankle angle in the sagittal plane. The gray graph indicates the mean with standard deviation of a healthy subject group (n = 15). The dotted graph indicates a patient with pathological pes equines. IC = Initial Contact; LR = Loading Response; MSt = Mid Stance; TSt = Terminal Stance; PSw = Pre-Swing; ISw = Initial Swing; MSw = Mid Swing; TSw = Terminal Swing; Dors = Dorsiflexion; Plan = Plantarflexion.

How it works

Ground reaction forces are measured by force plates integrated in the walkway. The corresponding joint moments are calculated by an inverse dynamic approach. Dynamic electromyography (EMG) on certain muscle groups give further information and allow structural joint stiffness (e.g. due to severe osteoarthritis) to be distinguished from functional stiffness, which can be seen in the absence of muscular activity in a passive mobile joint (Figure 3). The combination of these different measuring techniques helps us to describe and understand normal and pathological function and to facilitate the interpretation of the identified gait deviations in patients with varied orthopaedic pathologies. Therefore, three-dimensional gait analysis is a powerful tool that can be used as a decision-making aid for surgical interventions.

Gait Analysis Figure 3

Figure 3: Surface electrode placement on certain muscle groups (left), raw-signal (middle) and ensemble averaged signal (right) of the tibialis anterior muscle activity

Current research topics and areas of interest

  • Identification of gait compensation to investigate the relationship between primary problems and compensatory mechanisms, and how to distinguish between them.

3D Animation of a patient
with structural stiff knee joints.


  • Verification of surgical interventions as well as conservative therapeutic training
  • Multi-segment dynamic analysis of the foot in patients with complex foot deformities

Multi-segment dynamic analysis of the foot

  • Dynamic surface electromyography to quantify the role of activity on certain muscle groups in patients with neuromuscular dysfunction.
  • Gait analysis in patients with different pathologies including lower limb malalignment, osteoarthritis, and osteoporosis with an emphasis on the role of exercise in both prevention and management.
  • Biomechanical modelling of the lower limb to optimize the accuracy for determining gait parameters for specific populations
  • Use of MRI for developing biomechanical models
  • Sports research and functional testing of shoes

More information on Clinical Movement Analysis

European Society of Movement Analysis for Adults and Children (ESMAC)

Gait and Clinical Movement Analysis Society (GCMAS)

German speaking Society for Clinical Movement Analysis (GAMMA)