Continuous Passive Motion (CPM)
A Continuous Passive Motion device is one that is used to maintain passive range of motion following a knee replacement, ACL reconstruction or surgery of the finger joints, shoulder, wrist and hand. Doctors have discovered that early mobilisation after surgery can prevent loss of mobility, decrease pain and accelerate healing. Without the CPM, you would very likely not move the joint because of pain. As a result, you will experience joint stiffness, muscle atrophy from lack of use, and degenerative arthritis when the joint is eventually mobilised.
Use of the device begins in the hospital the day after surgery and continues when you go home. The great advantage of the machine is that the patient does not have to do anything, except sit or lie while the machine does the work. Your therapist is still needed for transfers and ambulation, but the passive motion of the CPM is controlled, and goes on for a pre-set amount of time.
The CPM acts to aid joint recovery by moving synovial fluid to allow nutrients into the damaged joint and move blood and other waste products out. Another action of the machine is to prevent the formation of scar tissue which occurs after surgery or trauma. This scar tissue can severely limit joint range of motion. CPM has been proven more effective in increasing blood flow over active and passive ankle pumps and other compression methods. With increased blood flow comes decreased swelling and much-needed nutrients to the joint.
If you are in the unfortunate position of needing a knee replacement or other joint repair, you would welcome the ease with which the CPM works and the way it speeds your recovery, while minimising your discomfort and reducing your dependence on pain medication.
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