After a racing car crash came fixation for
Tim Tindall

Tim originally contacted me with an enquiry about ultrasonic stimulation of bone growth. Although I have heard of it, I didn't have much information to pass to him [Anyone out there who has got some info on this technique, please drop me a line at the usual e-mail address.]
Needless to say, what with me being me and all that, I asked Tim what led him to being in a frame and he sent me the following mail.

Hi Slim,

Thanks for the response. Sounds like you just had a fantastic milestone. Hope all went well. Ilizarovs make lousy pets don't they.

Regarding your question, I ended up in a frame after a race car accident last August. [1999]
I left the track at about 150 mph and ended up into a big tree. I had about 22 fractures; both legs, feet , one ankle, arm, hand and 2 vertabrae were the worst.
The accident shattered about 7 centimeters of bone in my right leg. That's how we started the bone distraction procedure.
Pulled the tibia down to meet what was left of my ankle bone. Finished the distraction in late Jan. Hope to be out of it in the Fall.

Now able to spend time walking on it with a walker. This has been slow because the other leg isn't much better (still healing).
Should be starting the ultra sonic bone stimulation soon. The results I have seen have been quite good as far as bone mending. Also taking a good bone growth supplement

. Have enjoyed looking at your site. You certainly have put a lot of effort into it. I am amazed at how little effort doctors spend on helping the patient cope with this experience.
They should all have a "helpful hints" booklet in their offices.
One thing I noticed in the manual from the British hospital was that they warned against sun expousure on the leg. Do you know why it would be more suseptable to the sun? Is it because most folks have also been in a cast and lost a layer of skin?

I will keep you abreast of how the bone stimulation goes.
My doctor said the rule of thumb is about 2 months per centimeter for bone solidification.
The best time would be one month per centi. I'm shooting for the one month record!

Good luck and best regards,
Tim Tindall

Tim makes an interesting point with the question about sun exposure.
As far as I can make out, the following reasons seem to make sense as to why you should keep the leg under wraps.

  1. The skin around any pin sites is already fairly vulnerable to further damage, be it by infection or injury. If the leg is open to the elements, then insects and other nastys can get a bit too close to you for comfort.
  2. You cannot go slapping suncream and sun block around the pin sites for obvious reasons of infection and irritation.
  3. As the leg may already be desensitised by drugs or the result of the original trauma, you are less likely to notice the onset of sun burn.
  4. I expect that heat transfer down the pins as the frame heated up would not be either a good idea or too comfortable in the long term. Remember how the heat moves down a shish kebab skewer! Not a nice thought really!

I hope to hear some more from Tim as his treatment continues, and of course it will appear here as soon as possible.

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