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Do you need a knee motion machine after surgery?


It has been decided by you, your family and your surgeon that you want to proceed with a total knee replacement surgery. Many people you know have gone through this procedure and the question has come up whether you will have a knee motion machine after the surgery.


A recent article in Orthopedics Today reports on a recent study designed to evaluate outcomes of those who use the knee motion machine, also called a CPM (Continuous Passive Motion) unit, versus those who did not.

The study evaluated several factors in 160 patients who had undergone a total knee replacement surgery by separating them into three groups:


  • Those utilizing a moving CPM unit, 5 hours per day for two days


  • Those utilizing a static CPM unit, where the knee was held stationary


  • No CPM unit


The study reports after treatments, there were no differences between the groups for flexion or extension. Surprisingly the group who had no CPM unit had the shortest hospital stay and the least amount of reported pain.


Dr. Thomas Samuelson typically does not use CPM units for his primary total knee replacements. He notes, “I want my patients to work on their range of motion on their own, utilizing their own muscles to perform active range of motion of the knee.”


For additional information and for the original article, Click here.


Compiled by: Amy M Roberts, MS ATC/L

Kansas City Bone & Joint Clinic