MU Veterinary Hospital uses motion analysis to treat arthritis
COLUMBIA – The MU Veterinary Health Center recently added a new section - the Motion Analysis Laboratory - to track the movements of animals needing joint or muscle treatment.
The lab comes equipped with sensors, cameras and weight sensor plates, all designed to read the animals' movement and provide a more accurate diagnosis. Doctor Bryan Torres is the lead researcher who works in the MAL and said accurate diagnosis is a huge step in the treatment of animals.
“Our patients can’t tell us where it hurts, so it is vital that we use every technique at our disposal to pinpoint where the problem is,” Torres said.
The new technologies are designed to be useful for pets that suffer from osteo-arthritis conditions. The way the animals walk, such as favoring one side of their bodies or one leg in particular, can show up in the readings the weight sensor plates and cameras capture.
“Rehabilitation after surgery is a huge step for pets that come through the MU veterinary Hospital and the rehabilitation is greatly aided by the new system,” vet technician Stephanie Gilliam said.
The information the sensors and cameras pick up is recorded and stored through computer software designed to track each movement. The software then sets points on the joints to help doctors target treatment to the areas that need it most.
“Before we basically just had to use our eyes for gait analysis and to look and so now we have this equipment that like I said will be able to bring out more subtle deficits and give our clients information, it’s going to be cool,” Gilliam said.
The technology is also expected to be able to help treat humans with more accuracy and success than before.
“Luckily enough, both on the human side and the veterinary side, many of the treatments we use and different therapies, both medical and surgical, many of the diagnostic tests we use can translate from one species to the other (humans),” said Torres.
He added the techniques used and the technology are all very low maintenance. According to Torres, the information the technology yields are the key, not the gathering process itself. It allows for a less invasive process, which can be better for both animals and humans during treatment.