Getting Around with the External Fixator


Immediately after surgery, the affected extremity should be elevated above the level of the heart until there are no concerns about swelling. To elevate the affected extremity properly, place a pillow under the heel of your foot so your knee is extended fully.

To move the affected extremity, the leg external fixator must be moved together as a unit. The amount of assistance needed depends on your ability to control the leg during the move. Make sure not to place your hands under the fracture site during movement. This may cause you to apply stress and even slightly manipulate the fracture site.


Standing up and sitting down

When standing up with a leg in a TAYLOR SPATIAL FRAME device, you must use caution so that you do not fall. Always be very careful when sitting down or getting up from a chair if the external fixator is on your leg.

To stand up, move forward to the edge of the chair. Push off against the seat using the hand on the affected side. Push down on the hand piece of your crutch while raising your body to a standing position.

To sit down, back up to the edge of the chair. Hold on to the hand piece of your crutch on your unaffected side. Lower the hand on your affected side to the arm of the chair to lower your body to a sitting position.

Using the toilet

Again, while performing some daily activities with a leg in the TAYLOR SPATIAL FRAME device, you must use caution to prevent falling.

Follow the same steps used in sitting and standing for getting on and off the toilet. You may consider using an elevated toilet seat. For safety, you may consider placing a handrail beside the toilet.


Your body may require more sleep during the treatment process with your TAYLOR SPATIAL FRAME device, due to increased demands in ambulation. The fixator adds extra weight and increased time to maneuver as you go about your day.

Your sleep will be limited to one position – your back. Elevate the limb with the external device for comfort and security. You may want to sleep with the fixator frame cover on to avoid ripping the sheets.

◊ Trademark of Smith & Nephew