When Moriah Cleveland was twenty years old, she underwent surgery to repair her torn ACL, and she will always remember how she felt when she woke up in the recovery room.
“The first thing I did when I got out of surgery was I looked down at my knee and I started to cry…my knee was this completely useless melon on a stick, and I was thinking, I’m never going to walk again.”
Moriah was not alone in her despair. Knee surgery may overwhelm many patients. The swelling and stiffness that accompany knee procedures such as ACL reconstruction or Total Knee Replacement can be more than painful- it can be disheartening. But what Moriah didn’t know was that in less than 24 hours, she was going to watch as her newly repaired knee would bend and flex before her very eyes.
Moriah was one of many patients who used the Continuous Passive Motion Machine as part of her rehabilitative process. She believes the benefits were incredible.
“It’s excruciating at first, but after a while, as you start to heal and stiffness becomes your worst enemy, the machine actually feels good.”
Patients use the Continuous Passive Motion Machine (CPM) in their beds to rehabilitate joints after surgery. The CPM is a flat machine that measures the length of your leg. As the patient lies in bed with their leg strapped into the machine, the doctor will set the machine to the appropriate degree of motion. The patient uses a remote to control the bending and flexing. Doctors are finding that patients who use the CPM machine within 24 hours of their surgery have speedier recoveries than patients who do not use it.
Many benefits exist for patients who use Continuous Passive Motion in joint rehabilitation. First, it gets blood pumping into the joint, bringing vital nutrients and oxygen to the repaired tissue. Also, it helps to reduce the swelling and restore motion to the joint. The benefit of the machine is that the motion takes place without the patient utilizing any of the muscle tissue in the area. By using the machine, the patient avoids damaging the still fragile joint. The Continuous Passive Motion Machine helps patients build confidence their rehab program— and themselves.
“The psychological benefit of doing it to myself was huge. You’re more likely to be able to stand something you’re doing to yourself in terms of pain than someone else doing it to you…you actually know that it’s moving again, it really is a knee, there is a joint there. It was really good for me.”
Today, Moriah is all smiles. After a year of rehabilitative therapy, she feels healthy and strong.
“I feel perfect now. I like to tell people that the left knee that I had the surgery on is probably stronger than the right knee, because all the wear and tear was repaired in the surgery. In rehab, they recondition your muscles as well as your joints, so whatever movement is damaging you in the first place is almost eradicated.”
“With the machine, you know you’re doing it, you need to do it, and it really helped. It kept me loose and it prepared me mentally and physically for how painful rehab was going to be. I progressed very quickly in rehab, a little bit every day. I feel the more intense the rehab is, the more willing you are afterwards to realize the benefits of what you’ve done. I’m really happy with the way I did everything.”