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Getting in our car! 5

Posted by DarrenG on September 07, 2009

ilizarov-1Wearing a frame as bulky as this presents a number of problems not least of which is transport.

To get home from hospital I was lucky enough to have the assistance of my wife’s parents who own a large 4 door car.  As my leg is locked straight I managed to sit across the rear seats with my back against the door.  I did the same when I had to return for a check-up this time relying on my parents.

We own a 2-door Mercedes convertible and I thought it was time I investigate how or indeed ‘if’ I could get into our car.  I’ll be honest and say that I din’t hold up much chance of getting in.  I’d had a bad day but took some painkillers and off we went.

ilizarov-car2Being a convertible, albeit a large full 4 seater, the rear is much narrower because of the hood folding mechanisms.  So although I tried I could not fit across the rear seats and  the only way I could get in was with the hood down.  Fine now but not so practical with winter approaching!

Next up was the front passenger seat. With the seat moved as far back as possible and the squab tilted down (thankfully these are electric and almost everything moved, lifts and tilts!) I got in.   With assistance I can get my leg into the footwell and jam it high up on the bulkhead.  This is necessary because the frame is bulky and my leg will not bend so it has to be horizontal from the seat cushion.  Using a foam pillow to raise my bum a little was enough to sort that out.  It’s not easy but once in it is relatively comfortable so long as we avoid potholes and sleeping policemen!


It’s a huge relief as I have regular Physiotherapy appointments starting next week at our local Hospital and return visits to the Consultant at St Peters which is 45mins away.  Taxis aren’t really an option for these journeys and our families all live hundreds of miles away. Short of replacing the car we weren’t until today sure what we would do.

ilizarov-car3 ilizarov-car4

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  1. Jill J Tue, 08 Sep 2009 04:50:21 UTC

    YOU ARE BRAVE! Even with pain meds. I couldn’t get into the front seat of either of our cars until about one month in. And even then I had to take the factory seat off and sit on a pillow. I can actually drive now. Do you think that you would be able to drive at any point with that thing on?

    I had a pin in my knee that prevented movement too. I lost all of my range of motion (ROM). Then my doctor took it out because it was causing so much trouble. I then worked hard and got my ROM back to being able to bend all the way to my frame.

    Do you just sit on your frame? I guess you would have to since it goes all the way up. I bet that is really uncomfortable. I sit with the frame in the front of the seat.

    Just out of curiosity, why do you need to go to physiotherapy if you are unable to bend your knee? What do they do for you?

    Talk to you soon!

  2. DarrenG Tue, 08 Sep 2009 10:26:53 UTC

    I’m not brave so I must just be lucky! No chance of driving though as I couldn’t reach or control the accelerator, my leg has to be high up under the dash to fit in.

    Yes I sit on the frame which is very uncomfortable. The worst of it is I have a wire pin on the very top ring which goes through from front of thigh and exits in right buttock. The frame is very tight here and this pin causes a lot of pain and soreness and as it’s on my bum its difficult to sit in any position that does not impinge on it! I’d love it if they could remove that pin!

    I too am wondering about Physio. Currently I don’t have enough strength to lift the leg onto a stool or when getting into bed and need my wife’s help so perhaps Physio will be to help me build up strength here.

    I suspect that its partly weakness in the leg and also fear. As I tense up the leg muscles to lift it gets very painful as the muscles catch the pins at the knee. I think mentally I am finding it hard to get past that bit.

    My first physio is next Monday so I’ll know for sure soon!

  3. mum and dad Tue, 08 Sep 2009 13:13:50 UTC

    just viewed your car pics on e-mail from Bev.I’m pleased that you can perhaps get out more now. It will relieve the stir crazy feeling !keep om with the good work .Roll on the trip to the Foresters pub !! love Mum and Dad x

  4. Jill J Tue, 08 Sep 2009 22:48:47 UTC

    Dude, that is terrible! (About the pin) I remember not being able to lift my leg in the beginning. Luckily my husband and my mom (yes, I’m American 🙂 ) were here to help. About 3 weeks after surgery, I tried to lift it and tore something under my knee cap. That’s why they removed the pin. I really hope nothing like that happens to you, but, I do hope that you can get that pin removed. Be warned though, it’s not fun. And I’m sure it would be way worse going through that much flesh.

    I’m just noticing in your picture. Mine is about the size of the bottom 3 rings on yours. It doesn’t have the top ring.

    Also, I don’t know if you have one, but I would suggest getting a grabber. It is a long stick with a trigger on one end that you use to squeeze a pincher on the other end. It is a life saver to the person who is helping you. You can do SO much with that thing; close curtains, grab the t.v. remote, the phone, a magazine, tickle your kids :)!

  5. DarrenG Wed, 09 Sep 2009 09:30:34 UTC

    Coincidentally my parents bought me a ‘grabber’ when they were visiting last week and its now kept by my side, very handy!

    The problem ‘bum’ pin is much better now, I’ve made sure to concentrate on it when flushing them in the shower and now it’s cleared up and is a lot less tender which is a great relief.

    The lengthening is going well but one or two pins feel very tight by the end of the day. I think that’s my fault for not getting up and moving around more frequently to allow the muscles to move. I’ve resolved to get off my behind and walk around much more often as of today!

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