Effective rehabilitation after knee surgery – comparison of CPM splint and exercises with a specialist

After knee replacement surgery, rehabilitation is necessary. It is crucial to the speed with which the patient will return to fitness. The sooner he starts exercising, the better his chances of quickly getting rid of swelling, pain and reducing joint stiffness and restoring function to the operated limb. In the first period after the insertion of the endoprosthesis, the focus is on quickly increasing the range of motion in the operated joint, which is effectively achieved by passive exercises of the knee joint. They can be done independently, but with the support of a CPM splint or with a physical therapist. Which of these solutions gives better results? How do they differ from each other and what do they have in common?

Perfect repeatability

The knee passive exercise splint is a device into which the treated leg is inserted. It is fastened with special straps that stabilize and hold the leg during movements. The leg splint has the ability to set the speed of movements, the angle of flexion and extension of the joint, and the time between movements. The device itself ensures that the movement is repetitive and uninterrupted. This is what makes the rehabilitation splint a part of Continuous Passive Motion therapy, or Continous Passive Motion. Such treatment is recommended after arthroscopic surgeries, corrective osteotomies, ligament reconstructions and just that – after knee replacement.

As you can easily guess, rehabilitation by a specialist cannot be continuous, so by definition it already cannot fit in as part of CPM therapy. Cooperation with a professional is extremely important, because the rehabilitator’s job is to support the correct positioning of the CPM splint and show the patient its capabilities. The idea, after all, is to get the knee joint pounded in a thoughtful and non-violent way. The rehabilitator can also perform passive knee exercises with the patient, which can support therapy with the splint. However, as you can easily guess, the movements made by a human will never be as repeatable as those made by a machine.

Time of use

Here, however, the biggest difference must be emphasized – the CMP rail can be used for a longer period of time. The patient can exercise independently up to 2 to 3 times a day for a period of 1 to 1.5 hours. This adds up to 4.5 hours of exercise per day. Hence the name of Continuous Passive Motion therapy.

It is virtually impossible to work with a rehabilitation therapist for such hours. A physiotherapist is also a human being – he needs rest and time to recuperate his own strength. He certainly has many other patients under his care as well, so his work time must be divided among each person who needs support in returning to fitness.

CPM rail – price

Let’s also take a look at the price of knee joint rehabilitation. If you opt for the CPM rail, you have to expect to spend in the range of 5,000 to 38,000 zlotys. This is quite a large amount of money, which many people may find prohibitive. For this reason, it is worth knowing that a rehabilitation splint can simply be rented. This is a very reasonable solution, because the splint is only needed for a few weeks immediately after the procedure. Later – it is no longer useful for anything. So there is little point in spending so much money that after a few weeks the rail ends up in a basement or attic somewhere.

The CPM rental rehabilitation splint is a proven and reliable device. Such equipment is regularly serviced and inspected. This way you can be sure that it works exactly as it should.

We can also say with certainty that an hour of splint rental involves a much lower cost than an hour of work with a rehabilitator.

Summary comparison

Anyone preparing for knee surgery would certainly like to get back to fitness as soon as possible. However, this is quite difficult, because the knee joint plays an extremely important role in human movement. Rehabilitation is crucial in this situation.

So let’s remember to take proper care of ourselves and give ourselves a chance to have functional joints. The best and most effective solution in this case is to rely on expertly recommended CPM therapy and direct work with a physical therapist. The full-leg splint can be used as early as a few hours after the procedure. Long-term exercise with it will help reduce swelling of the joint, reduce its stiffness, increase its range of motion and, by the way, may also reduce the time you take painkillers. However, it is worth remembering that the use of a splint does not exempt you from contacting a rehabilitation therapist, who conducts therapy and decides on its next steps.

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