External Fixator FAQs

How fast can bone grow?

Your bone can grow up to one millimeter per day.

How long do I have to wear the external fixator?

Typical external fixator patients wear the device from four to twelve months. The severity of the problem you need reconstructed, your health, weight and other factors play a role in the length of time you will need to wear the external fixator. Your surgeon will be able to provide you with a timeline for your specific case.

teenage girl with kayak against a background of clouds

What are the stages of lengthening/correction?

  • Correction/Distraction – This begins a few days postoperatively when you will begin the process of moving the struts as directed to create a space between your bones to promote bone growth. Typically, you will adjust the struts four times a day, every six hours, approximately 0.25mm each time, for a total of 1mm in a 24-hour period.
  • Consolidation – During this time period you will wear the external fixator, but you will not adjust the struts. This allows time for the new bone growth to consolidate (strengthen) and prepare for removal of the external fixator.

How is the TAYLOR SPATIAL FRAME device attached and removed?

You will have at least two surgeries related to the TAYLOR SPATIAL FRAME device. Both the installation and the removal of the device will require a surgical procedure.

There is the possibility of serious complications with any surgery. Your surgeon will not schedule you for surgery unless he feels that you are healthy enough to have the procedure. Discuss possible complications and what to expect with your surgeon.

Only after X-Ray exams of the consolidated bone show it is completely healed will the TAYLOR SPATIAL FRAME device be removed. This will be performed under general anesthesia, usually as an outpatient surgical procedure. Afterwards, you may have to wear a brace or a cast, to give the bone more time to heal.

You may have certain physical limitations at first, depending on your bone healing progress and specific situation. Consult your surgeon about your limitations.

◊ Trademark of Smith & Nephew