The mechanical properties of a variable stiffness external fixation system were explored. Initial testing of a unilateral fixator configuration demonstrated that system rigidity could be increased by maximizing pin separation distance in the fracture component and the number of pins used while minimizing pin separation distance across the fracture site and the sidebar offset distance from bone. A triangulated system composed of half pin frames mounted anteriorly and medially on the tibial aspects and linked by crossbars was devised. Progressive disassembly of the frame was shown to result in progressive decreases in fixator rigidity in all planes.