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Patient Information

Pin Site Cleaning

The aim of pin-site care

  • Prevents any potential infection
  • Prevents overgrowth of tissue/skin from around the pin


The frame must be covered while in the shower to ensure the pin sites are kept dry. This is crucial for the first six weeks after frame is in place as this will help to prevent the pin sites becoming infected. The frame/pin sites can be covered with plastic bags or the limb kept out of the shower completely.

What you will need for each pin site cleaning session

  • 1 dressing pack
  • Pink sponge sticks (Lollipops)
  • 3-4 packs of gauze swabs
  • Packs of Allevyn absorbent dressings
  • Packs of sterile water
  • Sterile scissors
  • Antibacterial hand-rub

You will also need an allocated time where you won’t be disturbed to complete pin site cleaning.


  • Pin sites need to be cleaned every 7 days, unless stated otherwise
  • Wash your hands with soap and water
    Clean hands with antibacterial hand-rub
  • Open dressing pack and set out a clean area
  • Fill gallipot with sterile water
  • Clean any of the pins with the gauze and water if there is any visible dirt on them
  • Push rubber bung up wire pin
  • Remove and discard old dressings in bag provided
  • Clean pin-sites individually using sponge sticks and sterile water. Clean in one direction using all sides of the stick
  • Ensure that the skin can move freely around the pin
  • Don’t worry if crusts/scabs do not come off while cleaning, these can act as a barrier against infections
  • Cut Allevyn to size to fit over pin sites
  • Cut Allevyn into keyhole dressing (like shorts)
  • Cover pin sites with 2 layers of Allevyn
  • Push down rubber bungs and apply a small amount of pressure to ensure dressings remain in place
  • Dispose of contents of dressing pack and sharps safely.

Look out for signs of increased redness/swelling/yellow or green discharge from each pin site.

This procedure will have to be done every 7 days unless advised otherwise.

If you are concerned at all about any pin site infection, contact your GP as soon as possible. If antibiotics are prescribed, please call to speak to the clinic nurse to arrange an appointment with Mr Gaffey so that the pin site can be reviewed.

Contact Information

Frame Nurse - 0121 685 4159
Secretary - 0121 685 4156

More information

Watch the Orthofix Youtube video for further advice and guidance on Pin Site cleaning.

Cleaning guidelines

As there are no specific ‘NICE’ (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence)guidelines for pin site cleaning we are guided by expert opinion and RCN (Royal College of Nursing) guidance on pin site care (2010).

The main concern with pin site care is the risk of infection and advising the patient/family how to look after their pin sites. Also, what to look out for if an infection did occur and plan of action to get antibiotics.

The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital | T: 0121 685 4000 |