BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Health  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
Medical notes
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Saturday, 24 August, 2002, 23:21 GMT 00:21 UK
3D skeletons help treat injuries
Skeletal image
The motion analysis service helps treat sports injuries
Treating - and preventing - sporting injuries could be made easier for physiotherapists with a hi-tech skeletal imaging machine.

The machine takes 3D infrared "action pictures" which give an image of exactly how the skeleton moves during a sporting activity, and pinpoint any problem areas.

Physiotherapists can then design treatment programmes to address the problem.

The skeletal imaging device, which costs 240,000, is being used by Bupa's South Bank Hospital in Worcester.

Image of athelete swinging golf club
Physiotherapists can see how the skeleton moves during a golf swing
There are just a few such machines in the UK.

It was developed by biomechanical engineering firm Marlbrook Motion Analysis.

The University of Worcester is also involved in the project.

3-D image

Patients go to a purpose-built laboratory for their scans.

Up to 40 reflective sensors are placed on their body at the shoulders, elbows, hips, knees and ankles.

Seven infrared cameras capture the light reflected back from the sensors as the person carries out the relevant sporting activity, whether it be bowling a cricket ball, serving in tennis, or jogging.

This is then reproduced as a 3-D skeleton, providing computer images that can be rotated and viewed from any angle.


You can see the biomechanics of how the body actually works

Barney Griffiths, South Bank Hospital
Barney Griffiths, physiotherapy manager at the South Bank Hospital, told BBC News Online: "With conventional clinical assessments you can only look at it from the surface.

"With this machine, you can see the biomechanics of how the body actually works."

"The sophisticated software can overlay the skeleton image with the impression that comes through from the infrared cameras.

"Then you get a 3D movement analysis."

Insurance claims

He said the machine could also be used to assess whether insurance claims for injuries were genuine.

If an injury was genuine, the movement would be the same every time. If the device showed differences in the movement, it could be fake.

Images of a professional sportsman could be compared to amateurs to see how people were risking injury.

Barbara May, chief executive of Marlbrook, said the motion analysis service had been used by professional sports organisations including Leeds Football Club and Warwickshire cricketers.

She added: "The idea is that people come for an MOT before they have an injury."

See also:

29 Jul 02 | Health
25 Jan 01 | Health
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Health stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Health stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes