The effects of frequency and duration of controlled passive mobilization on tendon healing

Shinro Takai, Savio L‐Y Woo, Shuji Horibe, David K‐L Tung, Richard H. Gelberman

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91 Scopus citations


This study was designed to determine the effects of frequency and duration of controlled passive motion on the healing flexor tendon following primary repair. Adult mongrel dogs were divided into two groups based on frequency of controlled passive motion. In one group, motion was applied manually at a frequency of 12 cycles/min for 5 min/day; in the other group, a continuous passive motion machine was used to apply motion at a lower frequency of 1 cycle/min for 60 min/day, making the number of cycles each day for both groups identical. Gliding function and tensile properties of repaired tendons were evaluated biomechanically at 3 and 6 weeks postoperatively. Results showed that gliding function in both groups was similar, but tensile properties, as represented by linear slope, ultimate load, and energy absorption, were significantly improved in the higher frequency group. It was concluded that frequency of controlled passive motion rehabilitation is a significant factor in accelerating the healing response following tendon repair, and higher frequency‐controlled passive motion has a beneficial effect.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)705-713
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Orthopaedic Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1991


  • Biomechanical properties
  • Controlled passive motion
  • Duration
  • Flexor tendon repair
  • Frequency
  • Gliding function


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