For generations, children in need of specialized orthopaedic care have been able to find that care in Erie. The Shriners Hospital for Children first opening its doors in 1927.
The Motion Analysis Center is a big part of the work Shriners does, but like most technology, no matter how high-tech it is, it will eventually need an upgrade.
Shriners Patient Matthew Dehart has Cerebral Palsy, which makes it difficult for him to walk. He tells us, “You don’t know how supportive Shriner’s has been and my family has been. It’s unbelievable.”
Matthew came to Shriners 10 years ago when he was just nine years old to become a patient of their Motion Analysis Center.
Kevin Cooney, Director of Rehabilitation Services, says, “Many of the children that we evaluate at Shriners have movement disorders. They can’t control their musculature or move the way that we do.”
The Motion Analysis Center operates using a 10-camera system, but that’s just one part of the equation. Cooney tells us, “We have what’s called, ‘electromyography,’ which gives us muscle activation patterns. We have force plates embedded into our floor…”
This high-tech system helps up to three patients a week. But with rapidly changing technology, an upgrade is needed for them to continue their work.
With the next closest Motion Analysis Center being located in Philadelphia, keeping this one up to date is extremely important, says Dr. Cooney.
“There are Motion Analysis Centers in academic settings, but in this region, we’re the only two that perform clinical analysis where we actually perform it for the care of children or treatment purposes.”
Here in Erie, the system is also used to help other patients, such as those working with sports medicine. But, of course, this equipment isn’t cheap. Cooney says upgrading this system is going to cost Shriners around $165,000.
A price the patients say is worth the result.
“It helped me out tremendously,” says Dehart. “I’m able to walk like a normal person.”
Dehart has had multiple surgeries to help correct the way he walks. He says through it all, the staff at Shriners has been by his side.
“There’s nobody in this region I’d turn to other than Shriner’s. Shriner’s has been great to me; great to my family.”