After joint surgery as your incision heals, scar tissue forms. This tissue can be less elastic than normal tissue. Without movement, improperly healed tissue (adhesions) may occur.
When movement starts the adhesions may break, causing swelling and pain. Continuous passive motion machines or CPM units can help prevent adhesions.
CPM machines are used as part of phase 1 rehabilitation. The goals for the first phase of rehabilitation are to control post operative pain, reduce inflammation, protect the healing repair or tissue, as well as provide passive motion. These goals are addressed with continuous passive motion.
CPM is carried out by a CPM machine, which constantly moves the joint through a controlled range of motion, dependent upon the joint. In most cases the range of motion is increased over time.
During the healing period, it guides tissue growth that permits motion. A CPM unit also aids in the prevention of fibrous scar tissue formation in the joint, which tends to decrease the range of motion for a joint.
What To Expect
Your arm or leg rests in the CPM padded frame. The machine
gently moves your joint. Your doctor decides on the degree of bending (flexion). The speed is adjusted to your comfort level.
Therapy with CPM:
■ May start with a small degree of bending that will be gradually increased.
■ Can be used for 2 hours at a time (more or less as tolerated).
■ Is used for 3 to 10 hours per day.
■ Is stopped when the arm or leg is in an extended (straight) position.
■ May be used at home.
When the CPM machine is adjusted to increase the amount of bending, you may have some discomfort. This should pass after a few minutes. If you have some discomfort, start bending at the previous level. Then, work up to the expected level in a few minutes.
Ridgeline Medical provides the most advanced continuous passive movements available. Our goal is to help patients return to a normal, active lifestyle as quickly and painlessly as possible.