Planning Ahead Before Surgery

As other external fixation/frame patients might tell you, the limb restoration process takes a great deal of preparation and personal commitment. One of the best ways to understand the process is to speak with someone who has gone through the process. Ask your surgeon to introduce you to someone who would be willing to talk to you about their experience and help you prepare for this temporary lifestyle.

Here are some points to consider before you receive your frame:

Hospitalization: You should plan for a hospital stay of at least two nights.

External Fixator Adjustments: Some patient will need to make adjustments to their fixators.  Make the commitment now to follow a schedule of fixator adjustments, which are needed daily during the lengthening/correction phase. If your fixator requires adjustment, Dr. Kemp and his staff will give you specific instructions on how and when to perform adjustments.

Scheduling Considerations: Plan ahead now for the amount of time away from school or work, frequency of clinic visits, time of year and transportation issues you'll face. Dr. Kemp's staff can assist you with making these plans.

Physical Limitations: Understand ahead of time what you will be able to and won't be able to do. Talk to your surgeon about what to expect.

Changes to Normal Activities: Preparation, more time, energy, and rest will be needed to perform daily activities.

Clothing Adaptations: Make arrangements to wear loose clothing, which will fit over the fixator.

Household Furniture and Linens: Your furniture and linens can be protected from damage caused by the fixator by wearing a protective covering over it. See this link for suggestions on coverings.