How to use the Truelok distracting device

You have had an external fixator applied to your leg. This is to change the geometry of your ankle or foot. The distracting device is connected to two rings of your frame. In order to change the geometry, the wheel on the distracting device needs to be turned. This pushes the two rings slightly further apart with every turn. The device is like a see-saw. As the heel goes down, the foot hinges at the ankle joint and the foot goes up on the other side.

The wheel is locked in position and will not normally turn. To free the wheel to allow it to turn, lift the wheel upwards. It will move a few millimetres but spring back if released. Lift the wheel and then turn the wheel so that the numbers on the wheel and on the dice at the top of the rod turn from one to two to three to four and back to one again.

In the pictures on the left  you can see four dots on the wheel and on the dice in the left hand picture. In the right hand picture, rotation of the wheel results in the one dot face of the dice being visible.

You should turn the wheel one quarter turn, four times every day. You may feel some discomfort if you turn more quickly than this. However, how quickly you push the two rings apart is up to you, and if you can stretch everything more quickly, then you can do – just be careful not to cause yourself too much pain, which can accompany too rapid a stretch.

You should stop if you feel too much pain, or the foot is now pointing upwards. If you have any problems, you should ask in the clinic before continuing – there may be a problem that needs to be resolved before further distraction.