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The Leon Root, MD, Motion Analysis Laboratory Earns National Accreditation

The first and only accredited laboratory in New York

New York, NY—September 28, 2017

The Leon Root, MD, Motion Analysis Laboratory at Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) has received full accreditation by the Commission for Motion Laboratory Accreditation (CMLA). Additionally, it is the first motion analysis laboratory in New York and the 11th in the US to earn this distinction given for achievements in clinical care and research.

CMLA accreditations are awarded to laboratories that have showcased exemplary work in gait and motion analysis. Laboratories are required to renew their accreditation every three years in order to maintain a high set of standards in administration, equipment, reporting and data management.

"Along with being one of 11 accredited laboratories in the country, HSS is one of only a few accredited labs in the U.S. that serves both children and adults," said Howard Hillstrom, PhD, director of the motion analysis lab. "We pride ourselves in our commitment to using motion analysis to help children and adults function independently."

The application for accreditation was reviewed by professionals in clinical motion analysis, including the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) and the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA).

"We are thrilled to be recognized for our patient care in motion analysis by these leading institutions," said HSS physical therapist Sherry Backus, PT, DPT, MA, who submitted the 600-page application with the help of the rest of the lab team. "This accreditation provides HSS with official documentation of our best practices and will help us continuously improve processes in the years to come."

Motion analysis is a technique where clinicians examine an individual’s movement, such as walking and running, by breaking it down into its individual components and reporting quantitative measurements to describe the movement. The most common clinical cases at the HSS motion analysis lab are pediatric patients with cerebral palsy and patients with sports-related injuries.

To treat children and adults with cerebral palsy, HSS physicians and PTs use gait analysis as part of the process to determine what treatments, both surgical and non-surgical, can be used to optimize the individual’s walking ability. During analysis, patients wear small, reflective markers on their body as high-definition cameras record their walking in real time. In addition to joint angles in three-dimensions, loading, alignment, muscle activity and pressure beneath the feet are collected and given to the medical team to assist with treatment recommendations.

"Gait analysis is instrumental to finding optimal solutions for patients to improve their walking ability. I could not accomplish what I do for my patients at nearly the same level of quality and consistency without the resources of the motion analysis lab," said David Scher, MD, HSS pediatric orthopedic surgeon and co-medical director of the motion analysis lab. "Whether surgery is required or not, we want to create the best treatment plan for each patient."

Beyond cerebral palsy, the motion analysis lab can also investigate sports-related injuries. Motion analysis is used in research projects to analyze the muscle activation and alignment of an athlete’s movement during play.

"Investigating dynamics such as kicking, running and throwing, helps the sports medicine team assess the impact of an athlete’s injury as well as identify their challenges and needs," said Lawrence Gulotta, MD, HSS sports medicine surgeon and co-medical director of the motion analysis lab. "We want to restore proper movement and build strength in our patients to get them back to play safely."

The Leon Root, MD, Motion Analysis Laboratory was named after the late HSS pediatric surgeon Leon Root, MD, who was one of the nation’s foremost specialists in pediatric orthopedics. Dr. Root was an advocate for the study and advancement of gait analysis to improve the quality of life for children

"Dr. Root was instrumental in the development of the motion analysis lab," said Dr. Hillstrom. "We could not have received this accreditation without his guidance and passion for quality patient care, and it is our mission to uphold those values in the years to come."


About HSS | Hospital for Special Surgery
HSS is the world’s leading academic medical center focused on musculoskeletal health. At its core is Hospital for Special Surgery, nationally ranked No. 1 in orthopedics (for the ninth consecutive year) and No. 3 in rheumatology by U.S.News & World Report (2018-2019). Founded in 1863, the Hospital has one of the lowest infection rates in the country and was the first in New York State to receive Magnet Recognition for Excellence in Nursing Service from the American Nurses Credentialing Center four consecutive times. The global standard total knee replacement was developed at HSS in 1969. An affiliate of Weill Cornell Medical College, HSS has a main campus in New York City and facilities in New Jersey, Connecticut and in the Long Island and Westchester County regions of New York State. In 2017 HSS provided care to 135,000 patients and performed more than 32,000 surgical procedures. People from all 50 U.S. states and 80 countries travelled to receive care at HSS. In addition to patient care, HSS leads the field in research, innovation and education. The HSS Research Institute comprises 20 laboratories and 300 staff members focused on leading the advancement of musculoskeletal health through prevention of degeneration, tissue repair and tissue regeneration. The HSS Global Innovation Institute was formed in 2016 to realize the potential of new drugs, therapeutics and devices. The culture of innovation is accelerating at HSS as 130 new idea submissions were made to the Global Innovation Institute in 2017 (almost 3x the submissions in 2015). The HSS Education Institute is the world’s leading provider of education on the topic of musculoskeletal health, with its online learning platform offering more than 600 courses to more than 21,000 medical professional members worldwide. Through HSS Global Ventures, the institution is collaborating with medical centers and other organizations to advance the quality and value of musculoskeletal care and to make world-class HSS care more widely accessible nationally and internationally.


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