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Using a Constant Passive Motion (CPM) Device & TKR

One of my readers recently commented that she was surprised there was no mention about using a device known as a CPM (Constant Passive Motion) during recovery. I have written about this previously, but I’ll do a new version….

I did have this device put on me during my hospital recuperation. The purpose of this device is to increase blood circulation throughout the leg and decrease the chances of developing blood clots. I hated this thing. Let me describe the device. It consists of a “cuff” that is wrapped around the calf of the tkr leg. The machine is set to inflate this cuff every few minutes. The process is exactly like what is done when you have a blood pressure reading done in the doctor’s office. Instead of having the blood pressure cuff wrapped around your upper arm, however, it is wrapped around your calf area.

When the inflation began, it was very painful and discomforting for me. I totally understand the logic of why it was being done. My blood circulation was definitely increasing, so much so, that my ankle was swelling.

In addition to having this cuff on, I was doing ankle circles and ankle pumps to keep my blood circulating. Those I liked. They were painful, but nowhere near as much as that machine.

I believe my continuous use of this CPM machine and my exercises are the reason I, luckily, have never had any issues with blood clots developing after my total knee replacement surgery. For the bots, that’s a tkr. 🙂

Hope this helps others going through the same thing. Find interesting? Kindly share…

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3 comments to Using a Constant Passive Motion (CPM) Device & TKR

  • Linda F.

    Hmmm…I thought the CPM was the machine that automatically bent your leg back & forth so the joint doesn’t become stiff…

    Anyway, I didn’t have one of those. Not all surgeons think they are necessary. Mine said that the exercises I would get in the acute care unit as well as the rehab unit would be enough.

    As for the cuff to prevent blood clots, I agree that they are terribly uncomfortable. I have lymphedema, which make them even more painful and uncomfortable. Because of this, the doc was willing to give me a break from wearing them after my 2nd day post-op. From pre-op through my 2nd month after TKR, I had 3 ultrasounds to ensure I wasn’t getting any blood clots. Those gave me a lot of peace of mind!

  • Looks more like she’s describing a pneumatic cuff. I had this on my feet, continually inflating and deflating, one after another. When the put them back on me after I returned to the bed, I’d let them know which wasn’t inflating properly.

  • Hi Rob & Linda,
    It does seem that I was speaking about a pneumatic cuff. Sorry for any confusion. 😕 Thanks for letting me know.

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