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Motion Analysis Lab

The Motion Analysis Lab seeks to improve the physical capabilities of those who suffer from musculoskeletal ailments through our research and clinical activities. We study the functional performance of people during activities of daily living, measuring the kinematics and kinetics of natural and artificial joints.

Our current research foci explore the pathomechanism of abnormal gait on osteoarthritic joints, and the development of rehabilitation strategies to either delay or halt the progression of cartilage wear.

Our work

Normal human motion incorporates the intricate combination of muscles, bones, nerves and sensation to perform the simplest of motor tasks. Any change to the balance of the body’s systems, such as injury, disease progression or surgical intervention, can affect the ability to continue to perform the same tasks.

By studying how the body moves prior to and after these changes, our researchers seek to gain new insights into how the changes affect the loading at the joints, the musculoskeletal system reacts to the changes and the recovery of the body affects the loading over time.

Currently our group is investigating the following:

  • Impact of implant design on functional outcomes of total knee arthroplasty
  • Custom footwear and its effect on knee load
  • Gait retraining to improve lower extremity joint biomechanics
  • Recovery after surgical repair of femoral acetabular impingement
  • Muscular activation of spinal fusion subjects (pre-and post-op)
  • Sports biomechanics/injury (pitching, ACL reconstruction)

Our technology

The Motion Analysis Lab combines 3D motion of the human body with other biomechanical input to recreate the movement, loading and muscular contribution during a variety of tasks. We are equipped to quantify detailed movement of the feet, ankles, knees and hips during functional tasks including walking on level or ramped surfaces, ascending or descending stairs, and sitting into, or rising from, a chair.

The laboratory is also outfitted to assess upper extremity and full body motion for dynamic activities such as pitching, as well as functional tasks. Some of our equipment includes the following:

Our funding

Our work is made possible by funds from the National Institutes of Health, the Arthritis Foundation, philanthropic research grants and the Department of Orthopedic Surgery.

  • Arthritis Foundation Grant: “Augmented Feedback Using Pressure Detecting Insoles to Reduce Knee Loading”
  • NIH R01AR059843: “Wear Testing for Enhanced Prediction of TKR Clinical Performance”
  • Philanthropic: “Motion Analysis of Bicruciate Retaining Total Knee Replacement”
  • Departmental funding to evaluate patient function before and after arthroscopic treatment for FAI

Our team

  • Markus Wimmer, PhD, professor and laboratory director
  • Christopher Ferrigno, MPT, PhD, assistant professor
  • Hannah Lundberg, PhD, associate professor
  • Christopher Knowlton, PhD candidate, laboratory manager
  • Jade He, PhD student, Graduate College, Rush University
  • Jacqueline Simon, PhD candidate, Graduate College, Rush University
  • Kathin Ebinger, MD, postdoctoral fellow
  • Erica Ramirez, MS, postgraduate student

Key publications

Contact us

To learn more about the Human Motion Lab and opportunities to get involved with research, please contact Chris Knowlton.