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Clinical Movement Analysis (Shoulder)

Patient information A-Z

Information for people who are having a shoulder movement scan

Clinical movement analysis is a technique which allows very accurate measurements to be made of the way your limbs move.

Movement analysis uses cameras to track small reflective markers placed on your skin; the markers are attached using skin friendly sticky tape.

The technique does not use X-rays so is very safe. The positions of the markers are used to recreate your skeleton within the computer, the same way modern computer graphic films are made. We use the same technology as Hollywood, only more accurate.

What will happen during the scan?

  • Someone will explain exactly what will happen.
  • You will be invited to change into your top
  • The width of your elbow and wrist width will be measured
  • Small reflective markers will be placed on your skin (see picture)
  • You will be asked to move your arms in a pattern that the technician will explain. You will move your arms up and down reflecting the range of your shoulder
Diagram of the upper body front and back with  blue dots over the body

Video recordings of you moving are also collected. We collect this data to help the analysis of your movement to support your healthcare and maintain data quality.

How long will my scan take?

Your scan will take approximately 45 minutes.

What should I bring with me?

You should bring:

  • A loose fitting t-shirt or a sports top. Preferably something that allows markers to be placed on the shoulders.
  • Male patients may find it easier not to wear a top

What happens after my scan?

After your scan you are free to go straight home. Your results will be communicated through a letter to you clinician and available via MyChart if you are registered.

The results will be discussed with you at you next appointment with your clinician

Can I bring someone with me?

You can bring a relative or friend and they can be with you in clinic during the scan if you want.


If you have a problem or pain moving your doctor or therapist may ask that you have a movement scan to help them plan your care. Movement scans can help:

  • Understanding if the treatment you are being given is achieving what is intended
  • To better understand the underlying cause of your pain or movement problem


Movement scans are very low risk, they do not use X-ray type radiation or strong magnets.

There may be some reddening of the skin where the markers are placed but this will disappear quickly.

Please Help Conserve NHS resources

The movement clinic is a very limited resource. Please contact the department as soon as possible if you are not able to attend your appointment.

Privacy and Dignity

There are private changing areas for you within the clinic.

Everyone is offered a chaperone to accompany them during the scan. Please let the clinic technician know if you would like a chaperone.

Contact information

The movement analysis clinic is based in Clinic 9 Prosthetics and Orthotics in the outpatient department.

If you have any queries or cannot make your appointment please contact the department as soon as possible on:

Tel: 01223 806000

Sources of Information

For more information about clinical movement science please see the Clinical Movement Analysis Society (CMAS) (CMAS (opens in a new tab)).

Also information can be found with the Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine (IPEM) (IPEM (opens in a new tab))

We are smoke-free

Smoking is not allowed anywhere on the hospital campus. For advice and support in quitting, contact your GP or the free NHS stop smoking helpline on 0800 169 0 169.

Other formats

Help accessing this information in other formats is available. To find out more about the services we provide, please visit our patient information help page (see link below) or telephone 01223 256998.

Contact us

Cambridge University Hospitals
NHS Foundation Trust
Hills Road, Cambridge

Telephone +44 (0)1223 245151