A Netherlands Ilizarov story
As related via e-mail to me by
Gerdien Folmer
Hi Slim,

Thanks for your e-mail.
Hereís the story about my being frame-wearer.

Gerdien Folmer & Ilizarov when 9 years of age! When I was born, my right leg was shorter than the other one. Thatís why I got my first frame when I was 9 years old. This was only femural and it looked like this:

In the period I was wearing the frame (8 months) Iíve had lots of pain and many complications. The most irritating thing was that the doctors didnít understand what caused the pain and therefor they said that it was only psychical. When the pins were token out of my leg, they understood what the problem was. They pins had scoured big holes in my bones. Nobody had seen it before on the rŲntgenphotoís [ x-rays ]because on the places where the pins go in the bones, the doctors had put Ďolivesí.

This wasnít the only problem. My leg was 6 cm longer by then, but my muscles had not become longer, so I couldnít bend my knee. It was as stiff as a plank. After a few months vainly practising I was operated to lengthen my muscles. The first time was unsuccesfull, so the same operation was done again. Well, after much practising I could bend my knee more easily, and after a few years I reached the 90ļ.

In all, Iíve been in hospital for 7 months, and 10 months in a revalidation centre. Iíve skipped school 2 years.

Gerdien in her second frame

Doctors discovered another problem. On account of all the operating etc. to my leg, there had slipped scar tissue in my Ďgrow diskí (donít know the english word for it) . So my leg didnít grow straight, but there came curves in the upper and lower bones of my leg. Besides, my right leg was still 5 cm shorter then the left one.

Thatís why Iím a frame-wearer now for the second time. Iím 15 now (becoming 16 next month) and this is my frame since 3 and a half week: Iíve the elastics at my foot, because I canít get it flat by myself.

Another view of Gerdien & her frame The doctors still make all sorts of stupid mistakes. Last week I started with the corrections of the curves in my bones. I was told to turn the rotators to the left. Well, I did that for a few days, but Sunday one of the rotators jammed. So we went to the hospital, and after an hour of screwing by six men they discovered that I had turned the rotator to the wrong side. They had given me wrong instructions, so I had bend my bones only more in curves. This sort of things happens very often.

At the moment I donít have extreme pain, only a little stinging pain at the pengates. I hope it will be so for some more time. I have to wear this frame Ī 10 months, so Iíve a rather long way to go still.

Funny that your ex-wife is related to Hollanders. I live in Apeldoorn, so I donít come in Tilburg very often, in fact I canít remember ever being there.

I hope I donít have made too many mistakes in this letter. Iím not very good at writing english. Iím learning.


Gerdien Folmer.


Gerdien apologises for her English!
Gerdien your English is very good!
Thank you very much for your story. I look forward to being able to update it as it continues.

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