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Clinical movement analysis (walking)

Patient information A-Z

Information for people who are having a walking movement scan

Clinical movement analysis is a technique that 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 is very safe and only uses visible light to record body position. 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 shorts and t-shirt / top.
  • Your height, leg length and knee and ankle width will be measured.
  • Small reflective markers will be placed on your skin (see picture).
  • You will be asked to walk, barefoot, along a walkway (about 10 metres / 30 feet) approximately 6 to 10 times.
Illustration of a body from the waist down wearing shorts, from front and back views with small markers on abdomen, lower back, legs and feet

We will make video recordings of your movement to help with the analysis of your results. We collect this data 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 pair of loose-fitting shorts that can be rolled above the knee
  • a top/ t-shirt that can be rolled up to your belly button
  • any orthotics, insoles, prosthetics that your clinician has asked you to bring for the scan. Please ask them to make sure you have the right devices for the scan.

What happens after my scan?

You will be able to go straight home after your scan. Your results will be sent by letter to your clinician and available via MyChart (if you are registered on that system).

Your clinician will discuss the results with you at one of your future appointments.

Can I bring someone with me?

Yes, a relative or friend can accompany you during the scan.


If you have a problem with moving, your doctor or therapist may request a movement scan to help them plan your care. Movement scans can help to understand:

  • whether the treatment you are being given is effective
  • the underlying cause of your pain or movement problem


Movement scans are very low risk. The main risk are trips and falls but no more than when walking generally.

There may be some reddening of the skin where the markers are placed but this should 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.

You will be offered the choice of having a chaperone accompany you during the scan. Please let the clinic technician know if you would like one.

Contact information

The movement analysis clinic is in Clinic 9 Prosthetics and Orthotics in the Outpatients Department.

If you have any queries or cannot make your appointment, please contact the department as soon as possible on: 01223 806000.

Sources of information

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