A huge problem for ilizarov and TSF frame wearers is clothing. Frames on the lower leg are perhaps slightly easier to cater for but troublesome nevertheless and femoral frames, being the largest and most bulky present a quite literally ‘huge’ problem.
As we had prepared long in advance we had purchased a couple of pairs of running shorts, the type with the slits up each side. The inner mesh lining was removed and we were relatively confident that underpants and these shorts would stretch over a frame. That was before I had the frame fitted!
When I awoke to see how big the frame actually was it was clear that we had underestimated the size. I managed to don pants and a pair of shorts with great difficulty and in the meantime Sue hastily modified a pair of shorts by cutting up the side and sewing on snap fasteners.
This made the shorts much easier to fit and so she then moved on to applying the same modification to underpants. No longer did I have to struggle to get them over the frame where they would catch on every nut and bolt!
Sue then modified a longer pair of shorts by adding a large panel with fasteners. These were so I could venture out to the doctors and hospital with a little more modesty than the other shorts which were split right up to the hip!
And now, because sitting at home for extended periods you soon get cold, especially when all you have on is a skimpy pair of running shorts Sue has modified some tracksuit trousers.
The Mk1 version was made from two new pairs of track pants. One pair was sacrificed for the material to add a panel to the others. We also have enough left over to be a donor for another pair. The panel was sewn and was fastened with heavy duty jeans type fasteners. But these proved too strong and made it difficult to open the panel when access was needed to carry out the lengthening.
A Mk2 variant used hidden snap fasteners which are plenty strong enough to keep the panel closed but easy enough to open as needed.
None of the solutions are ‘pretty’ as it is impossible to disguise the huge frame that is hidden but they do the job perfectly and give me a wardrobe of clothes that I can wear now that winter is approaching. It’s one of those areas that you really can’t effectively cater for until you see how big the frame is but I’m very lucky that my wife is so handy with a sewing machine.