Learning About Continuous Passive Motion (CPM) Machines

What is a CPM machine?

After you have surgery on a joint, your doctor may recommend that you use a continuous passive motion (CPM) machine. This machine can help keep your joint flexible.

The CPM machine fully supports your joint. You can relax and let the machine do the work.

There are different types of these machines. For example, a knee CPM machine has a cradle to hold your leg. The machine slowly bends and straightens your knee. And you can adjust the amount your knee bends.

Why are CPM machines used?

You may use a CPM machine after surgery to help keep your joint flexible. You may also do exercises with a physiotherapist (PT). These exercises can improve the movement (range of motion) and strength in your joint.

If you have knee replacement surgery, a CPM machine may be slowly bending and straightening your knee when you wake up from surgery.

You may be able to take the CPM machine home for a few weeks. Use it as your doctor tells you. But also make sure to do any other exercises you learned from your doctor or PT.

Is it an emergency?

If you or someone in your care has chest pains, difficulty breathing, or severe bleeding, it could be a life-threatening emergency. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number immediately.
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