Limb lengthening and reconstruction: How to care for pin and wire sitesLLimb lengthening and reconstruction: How to care for pin and wire sitesLimb lengthening and reconstruction: How to care for pin and wire sitesEnglishOrthopaedics/MusculoskeletalSchool age child (5-8 years);Pre-teen (9-12 years);Teen (13-18 years)LegsBonesProceduresCaregivers Adult (19+)NA2015-08-31T04:00:00ZSim​on P. Kelley, MBChB, FRCS (Tr and Orth);Catharine Bradley, MSc, BScPT;Alexandra Maxwell, BSc​5.0000000000000081.0000000000000685.000000000000Health (A-Z) - ProcedureHealth A-Z<p>Learn how to change your child's dressing and keep their pin and wire sites clean.</p><p>If your child has an external fixator, such as a <a href="/article?contentid=2543&language=English">Taylor Spatial Frame</a> or a <a href="/article?contentid=2544&language=English">monolateral rail</a>, it will be attached to their limb with pins and wires during surgery. The places where the pins and wires enter the skin are called pin and wire sites.</p><h2>Key points</h2> <ul> <li>If your child has an external fixator, it will be kept in place using pins and wires. The places where these enter your child's skin are called pin and wire sites.</li> <li>Your child's pin and wire sites will be covered with a dressing. Your nurse will do the first dressing change two days after surgery and teach you how to change the dressings at home.</li> <li>If the sites are healthy, you need only change the dressings once a week at home. If they are infected, you will need to change the dressings more often.</li> <li>Contact your child's healthcare team if you notice any pus, swelling, warmth or pain around the sites. These could indicate an infection.</li> </ul><h2>Pin and wire site dressings</h2> <figure><img src="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/akhassets/PMD_limb_reconstruction_wire_site_EN.jpg" alt="" /> </figure> <p>The pin and wire sites have dressings on them to keep them clean.</p><p>A nurse will do the first dressing change two days after surgery. They will also teach you how to change the dressings at home. Some families will be referred to a local community healthcare centre for home nurse dressing changes for the first few weeks.<br></p><p>If pin and wire sites are healthy, the dressings only need to be changed once a week when your child goes home from the hospital. If pin sites become infected, the dressings need to be changed more frequently. Different surgeons may recommend changing pin site dressings at different intervals depending on their routine practice.</p><p>Once your child can start showering, their dressings will be removed to allow the pin sites to be cleaned each time they shower. This could mean changing the dressings every day.</p><p>You or your child can remove the dressings before or during the shower. If you or your child is removing the dressings in the shower, there is no need to wear gloves. See the dressing change instructions below for more information.</p><h2>How to change your child's dressing</h2> <figure><span class="asset-image-title">Tools needed to change the pin site dressings</span><img src="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/akhassets/PMD_limb_reconstruction_dressing_change_tools_EN.jpg" alt="" /> </figure> <p>First, gather the following tools.</p><ul><li>A clean, plastic tray</li><li>One cotton swab (for example, Q-tip) for each pin and wire site</li><li>Gauze swabs</li><li>Foam dressings (such as Allevyn)</li><li>Saline solution</li><li>Clean scissors</li><li>Tweezers</li><li>Two pairs of clean, non-latex gloves</li></ul><p>Next, follow the steps below.</p><ol class="akh-steps"><li>Wash your hands and put on gloves.</li><li> <figure><img src="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/akhassets/PMD_limb_reconstruction_dressing_change_1_EN.jpg" alt="" /> </figure> <p>Push the plastic clips that hold the dressings up the wire or pin.</p></li><li> <figure><img src="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/akhassets/PMD_limb_reconstruction_dressing_change_2_EN.jpg" alt="" /> </figure> <p>Remove and throw out old dressings.</p></li><li>Remove gloves, wash your hands and put on a clean pair of gloves.</li><li> <figure><img src="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/akhassets/PMD_limb_reconstruction_dressing_change_3_EN.jpg" alt="" /> </figure> <p>Cut the foam dressing into two squares (each measuring about 2cm x 2cm). Cut a slit in each square of the dressing from the midpoint of one side to the centre.</p></li><li>Pour the saline into the plastic tray.</li><li>Dip a cotton swab into the saline and clean the pin sites individually. Use one cotton swab per site.</li><li>Make sure that the skin can move freely around the pin. If necessary, remove crusts with cotton swabs.</li><li> <figure> <img src="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/akhassets/PMD_limb_reconstruction_dressing_change_4_EN.jpg" alt="" /> </figure> <p>Make sure all sites are dry. If necessary, dry each site with a clean piece of gauze.</p></li><li> <figure> <span class="asset-image-title">First foam square</span><img src="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/akhassets/PMD_limb_reconstruction_dressing_change_5A_EN.jpg" alt="" /></figure> <br> <figure><span class="asset-image-title">Second foam square</span><img src="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/akhassets/PMD_limb_reconstruction_dressing_change_5B_EN.jpg" alt="" /> </figure> <p>Cover each pin site with two squares of foam dressings. If you are using Allevyn, it goes pink side up.</p></li><li>Push down on the plastic clips to hold the dressings in place.</li><li> <figure> <img src="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/akhassets/PMD_limb_reconstruction_dressing_change_6_EN.jpg" alt="" /> </figure> <p>Remove gloves and wash hands.</p></li></ol><h2>Checkpoints for pin and wire sites</h2> <ul> <li>Contact a member of your child's healthcare team if you notice pain, redness or yellow/green discharge around a pin or wire site or if your child has <a href="http://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/En/HealthAZ/ConditionsandDiseases/InfectiousDiseases/pages/influenza-flu-protecting-your-family.aspx">flu</a>-like symptoms or <a href="http://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/En/HealthAZ/ConditionsandDiseases/Symptoms/Pages/Fever.aspx">fever</a>.</li> <li>Do not let your child pick at the pin or wire sites. The dressings that cover the sites should only be touched when doing a dressing change.</li> <li>Pin sites are reviewed at your child's follow-up clinic appointments, but routine pin site care is not typically done at these visits.</li> </ul>

 

 

Limb lengthening and reconstruction: How to care for pin and wire sites2542.00000000000Limb lengthening and reconstruction: How to care for pin and wire sitesLimb lengthening and reconstruction: How to care for pin and wire sitesLEnglishOrthopaedics/MusculoskeletalSchool age child (5-8 years);Pre-teen (9-12 years);Teen (13-18 years)LegsBonesProceduresCaregivers Adult (19+)NA2015-08-31T04:00:00ZSim​on P. Kelley, MBChB, FRCS (Tr and Orth);Catharine Bradley, MSc, BScPT;Alexandra Maxwell, BSc​5.0000000000000081.0000000000000685.000000000000Health (A-Z) - ProcedureHealth A-Z<p>Learn how to change your child's dressing and keep their pin and wire sites clean.</p><p>If your child has an external fixator, such as a <a href="/article?contentid=2543&language=English">Taylor Spatial Frame</a> or a <a href="/article?contentid=2544&language=English">monolateral rail</a>, it will be attached to their limb with pins and wires during surgery. The places where the pins and wires enter the skin are called pin and wire sites.</p><h2>Key points</h2> <ul> <li>If your child has an external fixator, it will be kept in place using pins and wires. The places where these enter your child's skin are called pin and wire sites.</li> <li>Your child's pin and wire sites will be covered with a dressing. Your nurse will do the first dressing change two days after surgery and teach you how to change the dressings at home.</li> <li>If the sites are healthy, you need only change the dressings once a week at home. If they are infected, you will need to change the dressings more often.</li> <li>Contact your child's healthcare team if you notice any pus, swelling, warmth or pain around the sites. These could indicate an infection.</li> </ul><h2>Pin and wire site dressings</h2> <figure><img src="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/akhassets/PMD_limb_reconstruction_wire_site_EN.jpg" alt="" /> </figure> <p>The pin and wire sites have dressings on them to keep them clean.</p><p>A nurse will do the first dressing change two days after surgery. They will also teach you how to change the dressings at home. Some families will be referred to a local community healthcare centre for home nurse dressing changes for the first few weeks.<br></p><p>If pin and wire sites are healthy, the dressings only need to be changed once a week when your child goes home from the hospital. If pin sites become infected, the dressings need to be changed more frequently. Different surgeons may recommend changing pin site dressings at different intervals depending on their routine practice.</p><p>Once your child can start showering, their dressings will be removed to allow the pin sites to be cleaned each time they shower. This could mean changing the dressings every day.</p><p>You or your child can remove the dressings before or during the shower. If you or your child is removing the dressings in the shower, there is no need to wear gloves. See the dressing change instructions below for more information.</p><h2>How to change your child's dressing</h2> <figure><span class="asset-image-title">Tools needed to change the pin site dressings</span><img src="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/akhassets/PMD_limb_reconstruction_dressing_change_tools_EN.jpg" alt="" /> </figure> <p>First, gather the following tools.</p><ul><li>A clean, plastic tray</li><li>One cotton swab (for example, Q-tip) for each pin and wire site</li><li>Gauze swabs</li><li>Foam dressings (such as Allevyn)</li><li>Saline solution</li><li>Clean scissors</li><li>Tweezers</li><li>Two pairs of clean, non-latex gloves</li></ul><p>Next, follow the steps below.</p><ol class="akh-steps"><li>Wash your hands and put on gloves.</li><li> <figure><img src="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/akhassets/PMD_limb_reconstruction_dressing_change_1_EN.jpg" alt="" /> </figure> <p>Push the plastic clips that hold the dressings up the wire or pin.</p></li><li> <figure><img src="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/akhassets/PMD_limb_reconstruction_dressing_change_2_EN.jpg" alt="" /> </figure> <p>Remove and throw out old dressings.</p></li><li>Remove gloves, wash your hands and put on a clean pair of gloves.</li><li> <figure><img src="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/akhassets/PMD_limb_reconstruction_dressing_change_3_EN.jpg" alt="" /> </figure> <p>Cut the foam dressing into two squares (each measuring about 2cm x 2cm). Cut a slit in each square of the dressing from the midpoint of one side to the centre.</p></li><li>Pour the saline into the plastic tray.</li><li>Dip a cotton swab into the saline and clean the pin sites individually. Use one cotton swab per site.</li><li>Make sure that the skin can move freely around the pin. If necessary, remove crusts with cotton swabs.</li><li> <figure> <img src="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/akhassets/PMD_limb_reconstruction_dressing_change_4_EN.jpg" alt="" /> </figure> <p>Make sure all sites are dry. If necessary, dry each site with a clean piece of gauze.</p></li><li> <figure> <span class="asset-image-title">First foam square</span><img src="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/akhassets/PMD_limb_reconstruction_dressing_change_5A_EN.jpg" alt="" /></figure> <br> <figure><span class="asset-image-title">Second foam square</span><img src="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/akhassets/PMD_limb_reconstruction_dressing_change_5B_EN.jpg" alt="" /> </figure> <p>Cover each pin site with two squares of foam dressings. If you are using Allevyn, it goes pink side up.</p></li><li>Push down on the plastic clips to hold the dressings in place.</li><li> <figure> <img src="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/akhassets/PMD_limb_reconstruction_dressing_change_6_EN.jpg" alt="" /> </figure> <p>Remove gloves and wash hands.</p></li></ol><h2>Checkpoints for pin and wire sites</h2> <ul> <li>Contact a member of your child's healthcare team if you notice pain, redness or yellow/green discharge around a pin or wire site or if your child has <a href="http://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/En/HealthAZ/ConditionsandDiseases/InfectiousDiseases/pages/influenza-flu-protecting-your-family.aspx">flu</a>-like symptoms or <a href="http://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/En/HealthAZ/ConditionsandDiseases/Symptoms/Pages/Fever.aspx">fever</a>.</li> <li>Do not let your child pick at the pin or wire sites. The dressings that cover the sites should only be touched when doing a dressing change.</li> <li>Pin sites are reviewed at your child's follow-up clinic appointments, but routine pin site care is not typically done at these visits.</li> </ul>Limb lengthening and reconstruction: How to care for pin and wire sites

Thank you to our sponsors

AboutKidsHealth is proud to partner with the following sponsors as they support our mission to improve the health and wellbeing of children in Canada and around the world by making accessible health care information available via the internet.