Sports clinic’s 3D gait-analysis machine takes guesswork out of treating injuries

Up and running

A new machine at Winnipeg’s premier sports medicine clinic aims to make “no pain, no gain,” a slogan of the past.

The Pan Am Clinic is one of just 20 clinics and 48 locations around the world — and the only one in Manitoba — with a $25,000 3D Gait Analysis System.

It’s not uncommon for major universities to have a biomechanics lab that can do 3D motion measurements, according to Reed Ferber, who invented the system.

“Almost 11 years ago now, we wanted to know, how do you translate that scientific analysis into a clinic setting to improve health care?” says Ferber, a kinesiology professor and director of the Running Injury Clinic at the University of Calgary.

So, what does the system do? The process is rather simple. As a patient walks or runs on a treadmill, six cameras create a 3D model that is used to assess biomechanics in the patient’s hips, knees and ankles.

The information is entered into a database that has biomechanics measurements from 5,000 healthy subjects to find similar running and walking movements.

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