Compression Therapy For After A Joint Replacement

Total Knee Replacements constitute one of the most common surgeries performed by orthopedic surgeons. Although total knee replacements have become quite common, this does not lessen the recovery and the impact of the surgery on the patient. The application of active compression is an important modality that can be used to help with the recovery from a total knee replacement.

The Normatec is an active compression system designed to improve blood flow and remove excess fluids from an affected limb. After a total knee replacement, healing tissues require oxygen and nutrients in order to repair themselves. Improving circulation helps promote healing by bringing freshly oxygenated blood to the area and removing cellular waste.

The most valuable element of the Normatec is the pulsing massage pattern it uses. Compression stockings often used after a total knee replacement use static compression, which just squeezes the fluid out of the limb. The Normatec’s pulsing action is more effective because it mimics the muscle pumps of the leg. This greatly enhances the movement of fluid from the limbs after surgery.

Research has shown NormaTec compression to lessen pain sensitivity, increase range of motion, clear metabolites passively, decrease muscle fatigue after exercise, and improve endothelial function and blood flow in the legs. All of these factors reduce inflammation and decrease soreness in the knee. In a randomized control trial, multilayer compression therapy (the same compression gradient that NormaTec employs) caused immediate significant reductions in post-operative edema for total knee replacements, even being more effective than ice packs in reducing swelling immediately post-operatively.

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