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Care equipment used after knee replacement surgery

  • During your hospital stay, you may need to use some special equipment to help speed your recovery.

    Cold therapy equipment

    Cold therapy on your incision will help reduce swelling and pain.

    The most common types of cold therapy are an ice bag or gel pack. You will be given cold therapy equipment before you leave the hospital.

    Continuous passive motion (CPM) machine

    The CPM machine is designed to bend and straighten the knee in a gentle manner to help keep your knee mobile. If your surgeon prescribes a CPM machine, you should remember the following points.

    • The machine is typically placed on the knee after surgery, which may cause more discomfort. Be sure to ask for pain medicine.
    • Depending on your surgeon's orders, the degree of flexion (bend in the knee) will be regularly increased to reach at least a 90-degree bend.
    • Use the CPM machine as much as possible. Combining exercises with using the machine will help you achieve maximum flexibility in your knee.
    • Tell your nurse right away if you have any sensation changes (numbness, burning, itchiness, and so on) in your surgical leg.

    Graduated compression stockings (white elastic socks)

    Graduated compression stockings (white elastic socks) reduce the chance of blood clots forming in your legs after surgery. Because you are not active after surgery, the blood flow to your legs and feet is reduced. This slower blood circulation can cause blood clots to form.

    The stockings prevent the blood flow from slowing down. Follow your surgeon's instructions for wearing compression stockings.

    Incentive spirometer

    The incentive spirometer is a breathing aid that helps keep your lungs healthy after surgery. Use it along with your deep breathing and coughing exercises.

    Knee immobilizer

    The knee immobilizer may be used to provide extra support and keeps your leg straight.

    Patient controlled analgesia (PCA) machine

    The PCA machine allows you to give your own pain medicine and is generally used for one day after surgery. By pushing a button, you can give small doses of pain medicine through your IV.

    The PCA machine has safety features that reduces the risk of getting too much medicine and is designed for only the patient to use.

    Sequential compression device (SCD)

    An SCD machine may be used to increase circulation and help prevent blood clots. Your surgeon may send this machine home with you to use for a prescribed number of days.