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External Fixation Device for an Adult

Medically reviewed by Last updated on May 6, 2024.

What do I need to know about external fixation devices?

An external fixation device has a metal frame. The frame may go around the limb (arm or leg) or it may go along one side of the limb. The frame is held in place by pins and wires. The pins and wires are put through the skin and attach to bone. The device is used when you have a complex break in your bone. The device is put in place during surgery.

External Fixation Device

What do I need to know about site care?

Site care while you have the device in place is important. Pin sites are where the pins or wires enter the skin. Germs can get into your body through the pin sites and cause infection. Care includes cleaning the sites and looking for infection. Your healthcare provider will teach you and your caregiver how to clean the sites. He or she will tell you how many times in a day to do the cleaning and check for infection.

How do I clean my pin sites?

Follow the specific instructions from your healthcare provider.

How do I keep myself comfortable?

When should I call my doctor?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.