Pathokinesiology Laboratory

header-title-decorationPathokinesiology Laboratory

The world-renowned Pathokinesiology Laboratory investigates human movement by measuring the biomechanics, muscle function and energy requirements of walking and mobility activities. The overriding goal of the lab’s clinical and research programs is to improve patient outcomes and clinical care for individuals with movement disorders including, but not limited to: stroke, spinal cord injury, brain injury, orthopedic disabilities, cerebral palsy, diabetes, and lower limb loss. The Pathokinesiology laboratory was founded in 1968 by pioneering orthopedic surgeon, Jacquelin Perry, MD, and continues to provide clinical evaluations to guide treatment for individuals and conduct research studies to identify optimal interventions for various patient groups.

Clinical Service

The clinical service of the Pathokinesiology Laboratory provides a detailed analysis of an individual’s functional limitations during walking and other activities of daily living using state of the art technology. The Pathokinesiology Laboratory is equipped to study a wide variety of activities including walking, running, stair climbing, ramp walking, bicycling, and arm function during wheelchair propulsion, crutch walking, walker use, self-care activities, and reach and grasping function in the arm and hand.

Physicians and other clinicians refer their patients to the Pathokinesiology Laboratory to obtain a detailed evaluation of each patient’s function as well as recommendations for therapeutic and surgical interventions. The information provided by an evaluation at the Pathokinesiology Laboratory can be used to:

Identify which muscles/structures are contributing to the patient’s functional limitations.

Determine whether a non-invasive therapeutic program would be indicated to optimize the patient’s function such as bracing or orthotic support, assistive devices, and muscle strengthening by exercise or electrical stimulation.

Determine if a patient would benefit from constructive surgery,

Delineate what surgery should be performed,

Prevent inappropriate surgeries.

This detailed and data-driven approach maximizes patients’ outcomes and minimizes complications, unsuccessful surgeries, and multiple procedures.

The specific clinical questions for each patient are addressed at the Pathokinesiology Laboratory by a tailored quantitative analysis of the patient’s impairments during walking or other activities of daily living. Depending on the patient’s needs, this may include analyses of muscle activity, joint motion, joint forces, foot pressures or energy expenditure. Muscle dysfunction is a common, but often unsuspected, source of pathology. The Pathokinesiology Laboratory is unique in its exclusive use of dynamic fine wire electromyography (EMG) to record the patient’s muscle function. The more commonly used surface recordings of muscle activity do not differentiate signals from nearby muscles or record signals from deep musculature. Decisions regarding selection of specific muscles for treatment must be made with the accurate information provided by fine-wire EMG to prevent inappropriate surgeries.

As part of the analysis, data collected from each patient are compared to a large database of information on normal human movement. Any movement deficits are evaluated in light of clinical measures of the patient’s muscle weakness, spasticity and joint contracture to identify the underlying causes of the functional limitations. The test results provide information to guide and refine patients’ treatment plans.

Providers: please either place an order for a New PK Lab Evaluation (drop down) in Orchid (Rancho providers) or fill out the appropriate referral form below (lower or upper extremity) and submit by fax to (562) 803-5693. For questions, appointments, and/or appointment-related inquiries please call (562) 385-7177.

Office hours are Monday – Friday (8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.).

Pathokinesiology Laboratory Referral Form – Lower Extremity

Pathokinesiology Laboratory Referral Form – Upper Extremity