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Recovery and Rehab
Information to help make the most of your recovery with the MAXFRAME™ External Fixation System.
Information on Adjusting Your Struts
After surgery your surgeon will provide strut adjustment instructions that will be your guide as you proceed with daily strut adjustments.
These instructions will look something like the following:
- Initial strut settings shown in the top row of the table
- Daily strut length settings, from Day 1 to Day X of treatment, for struts 1 through 6
- Color and number of each strut noted in columns
- Strut change/swap instructions, if needed, summarized in the table below the strut length indicator table.
- Notes to Patient, which can be found below Strut change/swap instructions. Your surgeon has the option to include notes personalized to your care.
- Strut lengths marked with an asterisk * alerting you and your surgeon that the strut is nearing the end of usable length and will need to be swapped out to either a longer or shorter length strut.
It is very important to follow your doctor's instructions on how to keep your pin sites clean. This will help to decrease the risk of infection. Pin tract sites are the areas where pins or wires are placed into the bone through the skin. As these sites can provide an entry point for bacteria, it is very important to keep these areas clean. Your doctor / nurse will instruct you on how to clean your pin sites.
After surgery, typically your doctor will cover and compress the pins as part of the initial healing process. Covering the pins creates a barrier to the environment and the applied pressure will assist with the healing process. Your doctor may instruct you to start caring for your pins at home 1-2 weeks after surgery. If crusts form at the pin site, they should be removed by gently cleaning the site, following your doctor’s recommendation. Scabs will start to appear as your pin sites begin the healing process. This is a natural step in the healing process and will fall off naturally.
Caution: Your skin may begin to grow onto the pins. As instructed by your doctor, gently push the skin away (off) the pins with cleaning.
- In general, pin care is typically done immediately following a shower, and may be recommended as part of the proper pin care procedure
- Pin care is typically done daily until your frame is removed
- Going into the ocean or lake is not recommended and may be prohibited by your doctor
- Do not allow animals to lick the frame area
- Do not use the same cotton swab on more than one pin site
- Contact your doctor immediately if you exhibit any signs of an infection such as excessive drainage, foul odor, pus, increased redness, swelling, or increased pain (more than previously experienced)
General symptoms of an infection include:
- Noticeable changes to the wound
- Redness or streaking - if there is any streaking it could mean your infection is spreading. See your doctor immediately.
- Check for swelling around the wound - it may swell naturally at first but it will eventually decrease. However if the swelling does not go down it could be a sign of infection
- Look for pain levels - as with swelling, pain may be natural in the beginning but will eventually subside. However an infected area will become more painful as time goes by. Patients with a pin site infection identify pain that is different from, and worse than, any pain they have previously experienced around the pin sites.
- When you gently feel the area around the wound and notice any warmth or tenderness it indicates an infected wound
- Look for discharge, pus or odor coming from the site. While some discharge is common it shouldn’t be excessive and it shouldn’t have an odor associated with it
- Fever - if you have a fever this could indicate you have an infection
If you have any questions or concerns please alert you doctor.
What to Do If You Think You May Have an Infection.
Inform your doctor immediately.
Take physician recommended medication - your doctor may recommend an over the counter pain reliever or fever reducer, such as TYLENOL®. Your doctor may also prescribe oral antibiotics.
CAUTION: Do not take antibiotics unless instructed by your doctor. If possible, it is best to see the same physician throughout the continuum of your treatment.
Take care of yourself! For speedy recovery, look after yourself with proper nutrition!
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IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
The performance of limb deformity surgery depends on age, weight, activity level and other factors. There are potential risks and recovery takes time. People with conditions limiting rehabilitation should not have this surgery. Only an orthopaedic surgeon can tell if limb deformity surgery is right for you.
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