HF 7864

Pediatric External Fixator Pin Site Care

External fixators are used to lengthen the bone and to stabilize fractures. They are held in place with small pins. The pin sites need to be checked daily. Your nurse will show you how to care for your pin site before you go home.

Follow these steps for care at home:

  1. Remove any dressings around the pin sites.

  2. Wash your hands.

  3. Check the pin sites for drainage, redness, or crust.

Pin sites with crust around them:

  • Soak with sterile saline or half strength hydrogen peroxide on a sterile cotton swab.

  • If there is no redness or drainage after the site is cleaned, leave open to the air.

Pin sites that are draining or have an area of redness around them should have a dry dressing put on.

  • Clean with half strength hydrogen peroxide or sterile saline on a sterile cotton swab.

  • Allow to air dry.

  • Apply Biopatch® around the pin with the blue side up.

  • Apply Kerlix™ gauze around pin.

Pin sites that are sealed and are not red or draining, should be left open to the air.


  • Your child may take a shower 10 days after the surgery.

  • You child can swim 3 weeks after the surgery but only in chlorinated pools.

  • No swimming in lakes, rivers, or ponds while the fixator is in place.

When to Call

Your child may need a clinic visit and may be prescribed antibiotics if they have:

  • Increased pain

  • Redness greater than a quarter in size around the pin site

  • Drainage

  • Fever

  • Increase sleep

Who to Call

Pediatric Specialty Clinics:
(608) 263-6420, option 1

For after hours, weekends and holidays, you will be connected to the paging system.