The Ilizarov apparatus is a type of external fixation used in orthopedic surgery to lengthen or reshape limb bones; to treat complex and/or open bone fractures; and in cases of infected non-unions of bones that are not amenable with other techniques. It is named after the orthopedic surgeon Gavriil Abramovich Ilizarov from the Soviet Union, who pioneered the technique.
Ilizarov Small Bone Fixation System
The ILIZAROV Small Bone Fixation System can be used for small, pediatric and upper extremity applications. With its smaller half rings, wires and lightweight design, the system permits stable fixation of very small bones, bone fragments and osteoporotic bones. Simultaneous corrections of multiplane deformities are also achieved with the same precision as the original Ilizarov system. The ILIZAROV Small Bone Fixation System also features:
- A wide variety of indications treatable with one system
- Unique hole patterns that deliver the extra convenience of additional holes (with respect to normal Ilizarov half rings) without reducing stability
- Half ring sizes from 40 mm to 120 mm
- Small 1.0, 1.2 and 1.5 mm smooth and olive wires, which allow for stable placement in very small bones, fragments and osteoporotic bones
How is it different from conventional orthopaedic techniques?
No treatment method in the history of reconstructive traumatology and orthopedics has had such an evolutional development as the Ilizarov method of transosseous osteosynthesis. The method has been called universal as it can be used for almost entire range of skeletal pathology that requires reconstruction and bone reshaping. Nowadays, it has been used in associated fields of medicine such as angiology, neurosurgery, oncology, stomatology, arthrology, veterinary, etc.
The Italian orthpaedic surgeons called the method the Revolution in Orthopaedics and named G. Ilizarov Michelangelo of Orthopaedics.
It has been unanimously recognized that the method enables improve treatment outcomes in patients with bone tissue diseases in the whole world, and especially in cases of congenital pathology or trauma sequelae. For 55% of those who are affected by orthopaedic pathology it is the only method that can recover them or improve their condition. It is less traumatic as compared to other methods; and the intervention procedures are less in volume in case the patient needs a complex operation or repeated surgeries. There are a lot of Ilizarov techniques that are bloodless and do not require bone grafting. Patients can start walking with the fixator on their legs on the second day after the operation and have normal self-service and life activities during the entire period of treatment.
Can this technique be used for height growth?
Yes, this is the first method used for limb lengthening and height growth. In the recent years, the number of people who refer to orthopaedic surgeons with a wish to change their height has considerably grown. Since the middle of 1970s, more than 500 persons increased their stature at the Kurgan center due to indications to a lengthening procedure, and they are mainly patients with achondroplasia (dwarfs).
In order to master the method, one should study, and the Ilizarov method training takes a lot of time and also can be costly for most residents as the best training can be obtained in Russia where the method was born. That is why, there is a constant interest in the method but its practical application is performed by those surgeons who have been well trained and have experience. This is true and should be so. The method gains good results only in skilled hands.
Another difficulty that the method encounters is the politics of the hospitals and medical authorities, as the Ilizarov treatment procedure, though being advanced and with efficient outcomes, takes a lot of time. The economic situations of public hospitals are not good, they usually cannot afford long inpatient stay, and rural patients cannot come often for outpatient treatment or cannot afford it at all… So, there is a lot of work for charities and governmental medical authorities for improving the situation so that the Ilizarov treatment could be available to a bigger number of patients.