It can be a nervous time when the circular frame is ready to come off. The surgeon will want to be absolutely sure that the bone has healed sufficiently to allow weight bearing without the frame. The patient may feel anxious about whether the leg is strong enough as well – some patients are concerned that without the frame, the bone may break or give way. We err on the side of caution when it comes to removing the frame and we often request a CT scan to be absolutely sure.
The frame is removed as a day procedure – you will be admitted in the morning and go home the same day, once you have recovered from the anaesthetic.
You will have an aircast boot applied after removal of the frame. This will give you some support, but can be removed at night, or when not walking. You will still need at least one crutch, to maintain balance.
The dressings will keep the wounds covered for two weeks. This allows the holes in the bone to completely heal before being exposed to the air again. The dressings are often smelly, by the time that they are removed. This is not a cause for concern. The smell is due to dried blood.
The wounds from the wires and pins into the bone cause some scarring. The hole is initially filled with blood clot. It is important to massage the scars to keep the skin mobile. Often, the skin can be puckered due to the scar under the surface. If you use deep friction massage, the scar tissue will stretch and this will allow the skin to become flatter in the long term, without puckering.