Depending on the type of surgery you will be undergoing, you may need to plan ahead for clothing modifications. If you will be having an external fixator applied, you will need to find or modify clothes that can be worn over the fixator and you will need to bring those clothes with you. Some suggestions follow:
- Snap-on nylon sports pants or shorts: These snap down the side, and some open all the way to the waist. They can be found in sporting goods stores and variety stores.
- Sweat suits
- Bell bottoms or wide legged pants
- Inserts and modified clothing: One way to adapt the clothing is to split the pants leg or sleeve up the seam and then add a triangle of fabric to make the clothing wider. Another way is to use an oversized pants leg or sleeve, split the seam, and then add either Velcro or snaps (grippers are easy to apply and do not require sewing).
- Underwear: Don't forget to adapt underpants if the apparatus will be on your leg. For women and girls, one good compromise is oversized "petti-pants" because they have wide legs. These can be split on the seam, with snaps or Velcro added for closure.
- External fixator covers: Some people are more comfortable in public with cloth covers over their external fixators. These are also recommended for use in households with furry pets and/or dusty environments. Additionally, they provide warmth during the winter months. You or a seamstress might be able to create a "tube" of fabric with snaps or Velcro up the side and drawstrings or elastic at the ends. One easy way to make such a cover is to use a pillowcase, splitting it as needed, adding Velcro or snaps, and running a ribbon through the hem.
- Shoes: Bring shoes with good traction for use during physical therapy. Depending on how your doctor places the fixator on your leg, you may be able to use low cut shoes. If the fixator includes the foot, we usually add a foot ring with a rubber sole in place of a shoe.
- Coats: If your fixator is to be applied to the arm, you will need a way to keep the arm warm in winter. A shawl or cape may be convenient.