Department| Volume 19, ISSUE 4, P448-449, October 2006

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Continuous Passive Motion in the Hand Therapy Clinic

      Purpose: Continuous passive motion (CPM) is a well-known adjunct in the postoperative rehabilitation of patients following surgical procedures. Most of the published research documents the use of CPM following total knee arthroplasty. The significant benefits of CPM use include decreased swelling, decreased need for pain medication, decreased length of hospital stay, and decreased need for manipulation. The use of CPM in hand therapy appears in a small number of studies pertaining to edema, burns, MP arthroplasty, Dupuytren's contracture, and tendon repair. However, there are no current clinical studies to support its use with hand therapy patients. This paper considers evidence-based practice regarding CPM use in hand therapy. What percentage of clinicians use CPM and for what diagnoses? What protocols do they follow and for how long? Are clinicians and clients aware of the cost involved with use of a CPM? Do clinicians document CPM use by their clients? Hand therapy clients have their own views and concerns with use of CPM machines. How many hours of use is enough to make a difference?
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