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Date of Award


Degree Type

Capstone Project (On-Campus Access Only)

Degree Name

Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)

First Advisor

Laurie Lundy-Ekman, PhD, PT

Second Advisor

Jay Salzman, PT


Background and purpose. The use of continuous passive motion (CPM) is a controversial choice in rehabilitation following total knee arthroplasty (TKA). There are currently no definitive studies demonstrating that the use of CPM is more beneficial compared to other means of rehabilitation. In this study, we compared the ROM and length of hospital stay (LOS) of patients who used CPM and those who did not following TKA.

Methods. Fourteen subjects with osteoarthritis underwent a unilateral TKA and were then placed into one of two groups based on their physician's orders. A no-CPM group (n=12) consisted of patients who underwent a TKA and received inpatient physical therapy services but did not utilize the CPM machine as part of their rehabilitation. The CPM group (n=2) used the CPM machine in addition to inpatient physical therapy as part of their rehabilitation. Data was collected by the subjects' physical therapist onto data collection forms and then compiled for statistical analysis by the investigators of this study.

Results. The number of subjects and the data collected for this study were inadequate for statistical analysis. The CPM group had an overall gain in flexion PROM of 20.5° and in extension PROM of 4° over a four-day hospital stay. The no-CPM group had an overall gain in flexion PROM of 17.9° and in extension PROM of 8.3 °over four days.

Discussion and Conclusion. Due to the inadequate number of subjects, no conclusions can be drawn from this study.


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