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What is a continuous motion machine?

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Quick Answer

As a reference to a perpetual motion machine, a continuous motion machine is one that continues to operate indefinitely without the application of energy or force as an input. Such machines defy the laws of physics and do not exist in the conditions on Earth due to forces such as gravity and friction.

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Full Answer

According to Newton’s laws of motion, a perpetual motion machine can only exist in an environment that is free of any forces acting on a moving object. The machine also requires some initial input of force to set it in motion.

In the world of medicine and physical therapy, continuous passive motion machines are devices that help in the recovery of knee joint surgery, especially restorative procedures to treat severe cases of knee arthritis. They are often the first phase of rehabilitation during physical therapy following surgery. These machines passively put the knee through a repeated and controlled range of motion that may be increased, depending on the nature of surgery.

Some studies indicate that patients reported less pain and swelling and a quicker return to preoperation movement. Researchers attribute this to the increased circulation of synovial fluid and the reduction in the development of scar tissue. However, there are several studies that indicate little or no benefit experienced by patients whose physical therapy and postoperative rehabilitation included continuous passive motion devices. These studies have convinced the insurance industry and members of the medical community that continuous passive motion devices are of little benefit, as they exist in 2015.

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