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North West Movement Analysis Centre- NWMAC

The North West Movement Analysis Centre (NWMAC) opened in 1996 and was set up with funding raised from charitable donations and the hospital trust.

The laboratory offers a specialist regional service for both children and adults. Referrals are received from Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeons, Consultant Paediatric Neurologists, Adult Neurologists and Rehabilitation Consultants from Liverpool and the surrounding areas such as Cheshire, Lancashire, Greater Manchester, North Wales and the Isle of Man. Referrals are also taken from physiotherapists.

The purpose of gait analysis assessment is to answer specific clinical questions, especially those related to surgical interventions. Gait analysis also helps to direct the management and treatment of the patient with neuromuscular disorders including Cerebral palsy, Spina bifida , Hereditary motor sensory neuropathy.

It is now considered mandatory for the ambulatory patient with cerebral palsy to undergo gait analysis prior to multilevel surgery.

Patient Information

 GAIT LEAFLET – national movement analysis body – European movement analysis body.

CMAS statement of purpose12-14

Information for Professionals.

The North West Movement Analysis Centre (NWMAC) at Alder Hey has now developed a national and international reputation in the field of motion analysis. The main focus has been on becoming a centre of clinical excellence in the treatment of children with cerebral palsy, which we have achieved and now other centres in the UK and in other countries seek to follow our clinical model.

As our clinical experience has grown, so has our involvement in clinical research and our movement into clinical fields other than cerebral palsy. It is this partnership with research that will increase our knowledge and understanding and therefore improve the treatments offered to patients. These areas include limb reconstruction surgery including hip abnormalities and patients with leg length discrepancies.

Another area of growth is in the management of patients who have foot surgery. NICE guidelines maintain that ‘Current evidence on the safety and efficacy of sinus tarsi implant insertion for mobile flat foot is inadequate in quality and quantity. Therefore this procedure should only be used with special arrangements for clinical governance, consent and audit or research.’  (Sinus tarsi implant insertion for mobile flat foot. NICE July 2009.)

To comply with the NICE guidelines all patients have an assessment in the laboratory before and after foot surgery as part of the audit trail for this procedure.

A neurological foot assessment clinic has also been developed with Dr Stefan Spinty, Consultant Neurologist for the regional neuromuscular clinic and Mr. Alf Bass, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon leading to Alder Hey being the only centre in UK to offer this service.


Since its opening in 1997 NWMAC has carried out small scale in- house research/audit projects and supported junior doctors in their projects some of which have led to prizes. We are focusing on improving the quality of research produced and to achieve this aim we have developed links with two universities.

a)      Liverpool John Moore’s University.

A working relationship with Liverpool John Moore’s University has been developed over the years culminating in a research project supported by WellChild. This partnership has led to research questions being developed in the field of virtual rehabilitation, upper limb assessment – the assessment and treatment of hemiplegics in particular and functional changes of abnormal brain activity through virtual reality training. Alder Hey is a centre for limb reconstruction and we have a research project in partnership with Liverpool John Moore’s University investigating leg length discrepancy and the effect of equalization surgery on patients to inform the treatment of this condition. A further area of research is into muscle structure and its mechanical properties and we are working very closely with Professor Costis Maganaris and using some of his assessment techniques which he pioneered.

b)      Staffordshire University.

The surgical treatment and rehabilitation of children with cerebral palsy continues to be a major area of expertise of NWMAC.  It is our aim to working with Professor Vish Unnithan, Paediatric Exercise Physiologist, Staffordshire University to develop appropriate exercise regimens for this group of children.

Your comments and experiences

  • Information leaflet we received was fab and helped me explain to Amber what was going to happen. Just wanted to say a huge Thank you to Paul and the team working with Amber today to do her gait analysis. Such lovely people who put Amber at ease and were great with her. Really friendly caring staff. Thank you!

  • I had to take my daughterJessica to the gait lab in December 2014. The information leaflet we received before the appointment was excellent. If was specially designed for children and really took away all her anxiety about the appointment. The staff in the gait lab were amazing. So friendly and reassuring and explained everything throughout. They took lots of time to ensure we didn’t feel like ‘just another patient.’ Thank you to the 4 wonderful members of staff who looked after us.

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