How Long Should Patients Use a Knee CPM?

“How long am I supposed to use this CPM machine?”  This is a question we hear at the medcom group® quite often.  There is a very simple answer and there are a number of very complicated answers.  Let’s start with the easy answer which is ALWAYS the correct one…as long as your prescribing physician tells you to.  It is amazing how much these doctors know.  Listen to them.  This is what they have studied their whole lives for, and as I tell a lot of my patients, “they went to school a lot longer then I did to be able to tell us what to do.”  When it comes to your recovery, your surgeon always has your best interest in mind.  Medicine is a referral-based business, and if you have a good experience during your recovery, you will be more likely to refer your friends and family to the same surgeon.

There have also been a great deal of scientific studies to support the timeframe for which the doctor prescribed your passive motion machine.  Doctors read!  I have a good friend who happens to be an orthopedic surgeon.  His weekday routine begins with an hour of medical journal reading each morning, starting at 4AM.  Like his colleagues, he wants to stay up to speed on the latest published studies so that he can continue to offer his patients the best care possible.  Physicians are required to continue their education in order to keep their licences, so be assured that when your doctor says to use your CPM for a certain duration, he knows what he is talking about.

There are some complicated answers to the question, “How long should I use this machine?”,  complicated answers which will inevitably lead to further questions.  First, you can use your CPM machine as long as your insurance will pay for it.  “How long will they pay for it?”  That’s a great question that seems to have no clear cut answer.  Insurance companies may or may not pay for prescribed medical equipment, including CPM machines, based on a number of factors: type of procedure, is it a covered benefit under your policy, network coverage, type of CPM, etc.  If it is covered, insurance may pay for a few days, 21 days, six weeks, or purchase a machine for the patient.  Every company is different, and their duration of allowable coverage is different as well. The medcom group® has a team of experienced authorizations people who can assist you to find out if a machine may be covered.

Next complicated answer:  “You should use it until your physical therapist says you no longer need it.”  When will that be?  Patients who use CPM immediately after surgery may find that their motion is good enough when they start formal therapy that they can discontinue using the machine.  Some patients want to keep it through physical therapy in order to warm up prior to P.T. and stay loose after their therapy sessions are over.  Many patients love their CPM so much they never want to give it back.  The therapists have a pretty good idea of when you can return your machine but it isn’t clear how long that will take.

Final complicated answer:  “Use it as long as you think you will benefit from it.”  The experience here at the medcom group has been that the majority of patients use their machine at home for 2-3 weeks.  Of course some patients are at full range of motion after a few days and some need machines for a  few months.  The medcom group’s cash pay pricesfor those patients who don’t have insurance benefits are very affordable.  It is up to the individual patient to decide how much benefit he is getting from the machine when compared to how much money he is paying.  Each patient will set his own level of value and discontinue use of his CPM based on when that value is optimized.  Fortunately for patients, the medcom group® allows for them to continue to use their CPM for as long as they feel they need it, as long as that extended time does not conflict with the prescription.

Please give us a call at 877-301-4276 to discuss our insurance authorization and/or cash pay prices for our CPM rentals.  We will help you come up with the right answer to this difficult question.

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