I was chatting with my physical therapist today at the hospital. He was telling me about the rehab regimen for people who have extra elbow bone removed in surgery. (Yes, that’s the one I’m probably headed for.) He mentioned that the surgeons have to open up a large section of the arm. This can cause a lot of scar tissue afterwards–so much scar tissue that it can reduce mobility of the arm.
They prevent that from happening by putting the arm in a Continuous Passive Motion device. That would involve spending the first five days after surgery in the hospital with a machine moving my arm up and down, 24 hours per day.
I’m not kidding. We used to put an injured limb in a cast, but nowadays we crank it up and down for days on end! Does it hurt? Can a person possibly sleep while this is happening? After that, it’s rehab therapy five days a week for two weeks. At some point they leave the frickin’ arm alone so it can heal, I guess. But not until they’ve done the sumo-wrestler-jumping-up-and-down-on-the-elbow treatment, and the shove-the-arm-into-a-meat-grinder therapeutic mangling cure.
In 20 years they’ll just inject nanobots into the arm to clean up the ossification and send the person on a skiing vacation in the Alps.