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Human Locomotion Research

Our main research focus is to understand the biomechanical function in normal and pathological human motion, especially gait. Computerized movement analysis is used as a tool to mediate a better fundamental understanding of human locomotion to physicians, physiotherapists, biomechanists, and scientists.

  • The UKBB has a modern movement analysis laboratory equipped with a motion capture system (Vicon, 18 cameras), three force plates (Kistler) and a plate measuring foot pressure (Novel) in line, 16 channel surface electromyography system (Noraxon), 2 high speed video cameras (Basler). With this equipment we measure the required biomechanical parameters needed to answer scientific questions. We calculate three dimensional parameters such as joint angles (kinematics), joint moments and powers (kinetics), temporospatial parameters, center of mass, center of pressure, and muscle activation patterns. To do so, we use software programs such as MATLAB. We also use specialized modelling software (AnyBody and OpenSim) to simulate a variety of parameters by inverse dynamics. Parameters such as stress, strain and deformations are calculated by finite element analysis with the ANSYS software. A special foot model is applied for foot deformities. The new software is implemented in daily clinical work.  
  • Furthermore, our research focuses on clinical outcome of treatment in the field of pediatric neuro-orthopaedics. This includes determination of a deformity for gait and its correction by orthotic or surgical treatment as well as the evaluation of particular surgical or orthotic techniques in a certain patient population (such as cerebral palsy) and problems independent of gait (such as hip dislocation).

Scientific publications (last 5 years)

Schmid S, Studer D, Hasler CC, Romkes J, Taylor WR, Lorenzetti S, Brunner R (2016). Quantifying spinal gait kinematics using an enhanced optical motion capture approach in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. Gait & Posture 44:231-237. DOI: 10.1016/j.gaitpost.2015.12.036.

Suica Z, Romkes J, Tal A, Maguire C (2016). Walking with a four wheeled walker (rollator) significantly reduces EMG lower-limb muscle activity in healthy subjects. Journal of bodywork and movement therapies 20(1):65-73. DOI: 10.1016/j.jbmt.2015.06.002.

Maguire C, Sieben JM, Scheidhauer H, Romkes J, Suica Z, De Bie RA (2016). The effect of crutches, an orthosis TheraTogs, and no walking aids on the recovery of gait in a patient with delayed healing post hip fracture: A case report. Physiother Theory Pract 32(1):69-81. DOI: 10.3109/09593985.2015.1075640.

Brunner S, Vavken P, Kilger R, Vavken J, Rutz E, Brunner R, Camathias C (2016). Absorbable and non-absorbable suture fixation results in similar outcomes for tibial eminence fractures in children and adolescents. Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc 24(3):723-9

Niklasch M, Dreher T, Döderlein L, Wolf SI, Ziegler K, Brunner R, Rutz E (2015). Superior functional outcome after femoral derotation osteotomy according to gait analysis in cerebral palsy. Gait Posture 41(1):52-6

Bracht-Schweizer K, Romkes J, Göpfert B, Brunner R, Rutz E (2015). Wavelet spectra of surface EMG during gait in children with di-and tetraplegic spastic cerebral palsy. Gait & Posture 42S:S8-S9

Camathias C, Gögüs U, Hirschmann MT, Rutz E, Brunner R, Haeni D, Vavken P (2015). Implant failure after biodegradable screw fixation in osteochondritis dissecans of the knee in skeletally immature patients. Arthroscopy 31(3):410-5

Romkes J, Schweizer K, Brunner R, Göpfert B, Rutz E (2015). Surface EMG in juvenile patients with cerebral palsy: What makes clinical interpretation difficult? Gait & Posture S42:S35-S36

Sossai R, Vavken P, Brunner R, Camathias C, Graham HK, Rutz E (2015). Patellar tendon shortening for flexed knee gait in spastic diplegia. Gait Posture 41(2):658-65.

Rutz E, Vavken P, Camathias C, Jünemann S, Haase C, Brunner R (2015). Longterm outcomes and predictors in one-stage reconstruction of the hip joint in children with cerebral palsy. J Bone Joint Surg Am 97(6):500-6

Romkes J. Berücksichtigung von Orthesen und/oder Schuhen bei der Ganganalyse. Orthopädie Technik, 2015(12):2-6

Zbinden I, Rutz E, Jacobson JA, Magerkurth O (2015). Tibial bowing in children –what’s normal? a radiographic study. Eur Radiol 25(12):3459-71

Rutz E, Thomas S, Slongo T, Brunner R. Osteotomy of the distal femur: surgical technique using the LCP Pediatric Condylar Plate 90°. Oper Orthop Traumatol 27(3):221-36

Klein A, Stoffel E, Rutz E (2015). Wichtige multidisziplinäre Aspekte der Behandlung von Duchenne-Patienten. PP Bulletin Nov 2015 33:19-31

Krapf D, Krapf S, Wyss C (2015). Calcaneus secundarius – a relevant differential diagnosis in ankle pain: a case report and review of the literature. Journal of Medical Case Reports 9(1):235

Braissant O., Keiser J, Meister I, Bachmann A, Wirz D, Göpfert B, Bonkat G, Wadsö I (2015). Isothermal microcalorimetry accurately detects bacteria, tumorous microtissues, and parasitic worms in a label‐free well‐plate assay. Biotechnology journal 10(3):460-468

Gaugler M, Wirz D, Ronken S, Hafner M, Göpfert B, Friederich NF, Elke R (2015). Fibrous cartilage of human menisci is less shock-absorbing and energy-dissipating than hyaline cartilage. Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc 23(4):1141-6

Leumann A, Valderrabano V, Hoechel S, Göpfert B, Müller-Gerbl M (2015). Mineral Density and Penetration Strength of the Subchondral Bone Plate of the Talar Dome: High Correlation and Specific Distribution Patterns. The Journal of Foot and Ankle Surgery 54(1):17-22

Schmid S, Studer D, Hasler CC, Romkes J, Taylor WR, Brunner R, Lorenzetti S (2015). Using skin markers for spinal curvature quantification in main thoracic adolescent idiopathic scoliosis: An explorative radiographic study. PLoS ONE 10(8): e0135689. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0135689.

Niklasch M, Dreher T, Döderlein L, Wolf SI, Ziegler K, Brunner R, Rutz E (2015). Superior functional outcome after femoral derotation osteotomy according to gait analysis in cerebral palsy. Gait&Posture 41(1): 52-56. DOI:10.1016/j.gaitpost.2014.08.011.

Romkes J, Schweizer K (2015). Immediate effects of unilateral restricted ankle motion on gait kinematics in healthy subjects. Gait&Posture 41(3): 835-840. DOI: 10.1016/j.gaitpost.2015.02.015.

Meyer U, Ernst D, Schott S, Riera C, Hattendorf J, Romkes J, Granacher U, Göpfert B, Kriemler S (2015). Validation of two accelerometers to determine mechanical loading of physical activities in children. Journal of Sports Sciences 26: 1-8 [Epub ahead of print]. DOI:10.1080/02640414.2015.1004638.

Fessel G, Jacob HAC, Wyss C, Mittlmeier T, Müller-Gerbl M, Büttner A (2014). Changes in length of the plantar aponeurosis during the stance phase of gait – An in vivo dynamic fluoroscopic study. Annals of Anatomy 1–8. Doi:10.1016/j.aanat.2014.07.003

Schweizer K, Brunner R, Romkes J (2014). Upper body movements in children with hemiplegic cerebral palsy walking with and without an ankle-foot orthosis. Clinical Biomechanics 29: 387-394.

Galli M, Cimolin V, Albertini G, Piccinini L, Turconi AC, Romkes J, Brunner R (2014). Kinematic analysis of upper limb during walking in diplegic children with Cerebral Palsy. Eur J Paediatr Neurol 18(2):134-139.

Fischer J, Nüesch C, Göpfert B, Mündermann A, Valderrabano V, Hügle T (2014). Forearm pressure distribution during ambulation with elbow crutches: a cross-sectional study. Journal of Neuroengineering and Rehabilitation 11(1):61.

Schweizer K, Romkes J, Brunner R (2013). The association between premature plantarflexor muscle activity, muscle strength and equinus gait in patients with various pathologies. Research in Developmental Disabilities 34: 2676-2683.

Brunner R, Rutz E (2013). Biomechanics and muscle function during gait. J Child Orthop 7(5):367–371.

Brunner R, Camathias C, Gaston M, Rutz E (2013). Supracondylar osteotomy of the paediatric femur using the locking compression plate - refined surgical technique. J Child Orthop 7:571–574

Schmid S, Schweizer K, Romkes J, Lorenzetti S, Brunner R (2013). Secondary gait deviations in patients with and without neurological involvement: A systematic review. Gait Posture 37(4): 480-493.

Rutz E, Baker R, Tirosh O, Brunner R (2013). Are results after single-event multilevel surgery in cerebral palsy durable? Clin Orthop Relat Res 471(3):1028-1038.

Rutz E, Spoerri M (2013). Septic arthritis of the paediatric hip - A review of current diagnostic approaches and therapeutic concepts. Acta Orthop Belg. 79(2):123-34.

Rutz E, Donath S, Tirosh O, Graham HK, Baker R (2013). Explaining the variability improvements in gait quality as a result of single event multi-level surgery in cerebral palsy. Gait Posture 38(3):455-460.

Rutz E, Brunner R (2013). Management of Spinal Deformity in Cerebral Palsy – Conservative Treatment. J Child Orthop 7(5): 415-418.

Antonini U, Soldini EA, D'Apuzzo V, Brunner R, Ramelli GP (2013). Longitudinal neurodevelopmental evolution in children with severe non-progressive encephalopathy. Brain Dev 35(6):548-554.

Testa EA, Amsler F, Camathias C, Henle P, Friederich N, Hirschmann MT (2013). What is the evidence of trochleoplasty in treatment of patellofemoral instability? A systematic review and comparison with MPFL reconstruction outcomes. Br J Sports Med. 47:e3. Doi:10.1136/bjsports-2013-092558.73

Vavken P, Wimmer MD, Camathias C, Quidde J, Valderrabano V, Pagenstert G (2013). Treating Patella Instability in Skeletally Immature Patients. Arthroscopy: The Journal of Arthroscopic & Related Surgery 29:1410–1422.

Camathias C (2013). Arthrofibrose am Knie nach Eingriffen bei Kindern und Adoleszenten. Leading opinions Orthopädie & Rheumatologie 4:58-61.

Schmid RB, Brunner R, Camathias C, Rutz E (2013). Double osteotomy of the pelvis for treatment of an anterior hip subluxation in a 9-year-old child with cerebral palsy: a variation of the Salter osteotomy. J Pediatr Orthop B 22(1): 20-3.

Schweizer K, Cattin PC, Brunner R, Müller B, Huber C, Romkes J (2012). Automatic selection of a representative trial from multiple measurements using Principle Component Analysis. Journal of Biomechanics 45(13): 2306-2309.

Frère J, Göpfert B, Slawinski J, Tourny-Chollet C (2012). Influence of the scale function on wavelet transformation of the surface electromyographic signal, Computer Methods in Biomechanics and Biomedical Engineering 15(2):111-120.

Frère F, Göpfert B, Hug F, Slawinski J, Tourny-Chollet C (2012). Catapult effect in pole vaulting: Is muscle coordination determinant? Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology 22(1):145-152

Cimolin V, Galli M, Albertini G, Crivellini M, Romkes J, Brunner R (2012). Quantitative analysis of upper limbs during gait: a marker set protocol. J Appl Biomater Function Mater. 2012 Jun;10(1): 49-55.

Galli M, Cimolin V, Crivellini M, Romkes J, Albertini G, Brunner R (2012). Quantification of upper limb motion during gait in children with hemiplegic cerebral palsy. Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities. 24(1): 1-8.

Frère J, Göpfert B, Slawinski J, Tourny-Chollet C (2012). Shoulder muscles recruitment during a power backward giant swing on high bar: a wavelet-EMG-analysis. Human Movement Science 31(2):472-485

Göpfert B (2012). Biomechanische Belastung der Bandscheiben beim Sitzen – ein Mini-Review. Physioactive 4:7-12

Rutz E, Baker R, Tirosh O, Romkes J, Haase C, Brunner R (2011). Tibialisanterior tendon shortening in combination with Achilles tendon lengthening in spastic equinus in cerebral palsy. Gait and Posture 33(2): 152-157.

 Göpfert B, Krol Z, Freslier M, Krieg AH (2011). 3D video-based deformation measurement of the pelvis bone under dynamic cyclic loading. BioMedical Engineering OnLine 2011 10:60 doi:10.1186/1475-925X-10-60

Huber C, Nüesch C, Göpfert B, Cattin PC, von Tscharner V (2011). Muscular timing and inter-muscular coordination in healthy females while walking. Journal of Neuroscience Methods 201(1):27-34.

Frère J, Göpfert B, Nüesch C, Huber C, Fischer M, Wirz D, Friederich NF (2011). Kinematical and EMG-classifications of a fencing attack. International Journal of Sports Medicine 32(1):28-34.

Only available in German


Group members

  • PD Erich Rutz, MD, PhD
  • Christian Wyss, MD
  • Carlo Camathias, MD
  • Bernhard Speth, MD
  • Marie Freslier, MSc
  • Beat Goepfert, MEng, EMBA
  • Sebastian Krapf, PhD
  • Jacqueline Romkes, PhD
  • Katrin Bracht-Schweizer, PhD
  • Frank Behrendt, PhD
  • Nadine Häfliger, MSc



University Children’s Hospital Basel
Spitalstrasse 33
4056 Basel / Switzerland

T +41 61 704 12 12
F +41 61 704 12 13

© UKBB, 2018