A frame tale from across the Big Pond
Leanne Koelewyn

A shot of Leanne' framed leg Hello there!

I have been following your pages with great interest. Thankyou for taking the time and effort to make them available to the likes of me.

I am a 40 yo female. My knee has been a problem for me for the past 19 years after I initally tore the anterior cruciate ligament, and the medial and lateral ligaments playing sport.
I had 4 knee reconstructions then when they ran out of reconstructive tissue they decided a knee replacement was the way to go. That was reasonably good for approx 8 years. In Aug 98 I went into hospital to have the bearing replaced in the knee..that was when my real troubles began.

just a bit of background info....as I was having trouble with my knee dislocating all the time..my husband of 16 years decided he didn't love my knee enough to put up with me and my marriage failed.
I don't blame him but added to my medical problems I have also had to contend with a seperation, court proceedings, trying to buy myself a home to live, living as a sole parent, and now divorce and property settlement. My operations have often had to be scheduled around court dates..which is very stressful.

I don't know how to do a web page...so I don't know how to tell my story


  • Aug 17 - 22 Hospital... Replace Bearing
  • Aug 27 - Sept 4 Hospital Debridement
  • Dec 3 - 14 Hospital Remove Knee put in spacer
  • Dec 14 to Jan 15 Hospital in the home worst time of my life. having no knee. It was completey unstable. Everytime I moved the lower part of my leg just wobbled around completed not attached to anything...cept the skin holding it all together. Hurt like hell...I hated to move as I could not do so without considerable pain. Of course Christmas decided it was to come and go too...I felt bad because I couldn't shop for my children for christmas.
  • Feb 7 - 17 Hospital Removed spacer. Knee Arthrodised (fused)
  • Mch 18 - 21 Hospital Removed external fixiture - now in plaster
  • Mch 27 - Apr 2` Hospital ` Removed plaster Pin inserted in leg to keep it stable
  • July 22 -26 Hospital admitted for pain management
  • July 26 - Aug 11 Hospital transfered to another hospital
  • July 28 Removal of all metal in my leg, Debridement
  • July 29 Debridement
  • July 31 Debridement and Ilizarov frame fitted. All these proceedures are done under a general anaesthetic
  • Aug 11 - Sept 10 Hospital in the home In stead of taking up a hospital bed they allow you home if they are convinced you are capable to look after yourself. A nurse comes to visit x 2 day to administer the IV anti-biotics and check to make sure you haven't committed suidide yet...(hehehe)
  • Aug 16 Hospital Picc line removed due to blood clot...(ouch!)
  • Aug 17 Hospital A new picc line attempted but failed. I needed Picc lines as the severe anti-biotics cause the veins to close down. A picc line is a main line I guess..;)
  • Aug 19 Hospital Hickmans Line inserted. I think I am the only lady that has both a varicose vein on her breast (due to the picc line clotting..and now scars from the hickmans...would make interesting bed time chat..hehhee)
  • Aug 25 Hospital Removal Gentamycin beads from leg
  • Dec 4 Hospital Removal Ilizarov frame
  • Dec 27 - 29 Hospital casualty Broke the fusion.
  • Dec 29 - Jan 1 Hospital Transfered to major ortho hospital in Melbourne another Ilizarov fitted.
I hate hospital. I hate not being able to get around. I hate not being able to wear clothes other than short skirts. I hate going shopping because I get stopped all the time and asked "what have you done to yourself". That is why I thankyou for your page.
I can see you have problems getting out and about too. I thought I was the only one. I have been told this frame will be on for at least the next 12 months.
I feel I can't get on with my life. I feel that my leg has cost me so much and no-one really understands.
People tell you to look after yourself...not to do anything etc etc etc...but life goes on....who will do the shopping?...who will do the washing..vacuum the floors etc.

I have great kids daughter 17, Son 16, and son 13...but they are kids..:)
I hope you don't think me a whinge...It just took me to "talk" to you as I don't feel many can begin to understand.
I look at the web pages...but most have the lower (under the knee) frames... I have taken the liberty to incle the photo of my leg with the first frame...the second frame that I am wearing now is larger still....2" up from my ankle andd 3" down from my crutch. I told one person that asked me what I had done...that I was trialing a new form of contraceptive device...;) guess it would work too....*laughs*

Thanks for listening to me...


one good thing I am learning to use the scanner and stuff...:)

One of the things I find when I read stories like Leanne's is this feeling of 'What the hell am I complaining about?
I've only had my frame for 18 months.
And to top it off, Leanne hopes I don't think her a 'Whinge'!!!!!!!
You do brilliantly Leanne, I'm rootin' for you all the way.

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