Postoperative Discharge Instructions for External Fixator Removal
Follow the guidelines as outlined in the general anesthesia handout.
The skin will improve now that the pins and wires are gone. You may remove bandages the day after the fixator is removed and replace them with Band-Aids. You may shower once the in/wire sites have scabbed over. (Wait at least 48 hours.) Once the scars are healed over, gently rub/massage your skin three times a day for three to five weeks to help soften the scars. For the next year, be sure to cover the scars well with sun block when exposed to the sun so they won’t turn dark permanently.
There should be little or no pain after fixator removal. Any discomfort you had before the fixator was removed should go away after the fixator is gone. You may use a pain relieving medicine (such as Tylenol) and/or apply ice to areas as needed.
Crutches may be used as desired, or you may have received specific instructions as to their use. A cast or splint may be necessary for a few weeks. It is important to exercise, but avoid twisting, jarring, or heavy work (such as rollerblading, ice skating, skiing or excessive weight lifting). Good exercises for increasing range of motion include swimming, walking, biking and stretching.
Contact Telehealth Nursing at 651-229-3890 if you see any of the following:
- Fever over 101.5 F
- Throat irritation
- Severe pain
This information is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to replace the advice of your health care providers. If you have any questions, talk with your doctor or others on your health care team. If you are a Gillette patient with urgent questions or concerns, please contact Telehealth Nursing at 651-229-3890.