Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Leg update. Taylor Spatial Frame etc.

So it's been a while since I posted, but I intend to do a bit more now. Last week I had another operation - this time to fit a Taylor Spatial Frame which will correct the malunion of my tibia. Basically in January this year the consultant told me that if my leg was straight, it would be ready to start trying to walk again etc.. But it isn't straight, it's healed up with a 17.5 degree bend, which is too much for your ankle and knee joints to support, so it has to be fixed.

Here's the last picture I took of my leg before the operation. Taken 25 March 2012.

The way to do that is with a Taylor Spatial Frame. These allow precise adjustments in all planes, so in principle you can correct any malunion or deformity with one. I had the procedure on Friday March 30, and was in hospital until Monday April 2. My consultant fitted the frame to my leg in about a 4 hour operation. This involved cutting through my tibia at the point where the bend is, and rebreaking my fibula as well as that was splinting my leg on the left side.

Taken 2nd April 2012. Operation was on March 30 2012.

The frame consists of 2 rings just below my knee and 2 rings just above my ankle which are pinned to my tibia. Joining the sets of rings are 6 numbered struts which are adjustable using thumbscrews and have a mm scale on them. Starting on Monday and over the next few weeks I will adjust the struts to move the lower set of rings into alignment with the upper set, moving my tibia with them of course. I find this amazing. I can't wait to start fiddling with the struts. Of course I will follow the prescription perfectly, but I can't wait to see it move.

I think you can see from the photographs that there's been quite a bit of swelling again due to the operation. The incision on the right hand side was done to break my tibia and that on the left to break my fibula. As far as I know, my fibula will not be reconstructed, but it is not so important because that bone doesn't bear weight.

At the moment I can't put any weight on it, but that will change over the next few weeks. Hopefully the pin sites will heal up nicely so that I won't need to do dressings every day, although I am doing at the moment.

At my next appointment on April 16, the consultant will remove the clips from the two incisions, and also change out three of the struts as they will have been adjusted to their limit by then.


  1. Ooh, it will be interesting to see a time lapse of this at the end!

    I was wondering,; will it be a permanent adjustment or will the bone just want to bend back slightly?

    1. Well the idea is that the bone grows into the gap created by the adjustment. Even though the adjustment only takes a couple of weeks, I will have to keep the frame on until the bone is healed, so it'll be fixed in the right position. I imagine this frame will be on for quite some time. I daren't ask how long, could be anything up to a year I guess. Normally if you break your bone right through and set it it will take 3-4 months to heal properly. This is worse than that I guess.

  2. How did i not know about this blog till today?

    Also Andrew your name was a search term which lead someone to my blog! Bizarre

    1. Probably because I have neglected it since the accident! It was only supposed to be about my biking adventures but now I have decided it will be about anything and everything, including the road back to biking adventures :)

    2. Also that is strange about the search term - I guess it led to a post I made on your blog?