The Ilizarov Method of Treatment
The Ilizarov Method uses Ilizarov's Principle of DISTRACTION OSTEOGENESIS (osteo=bone, genesis=formation). This refers to the induction of new bone between bone surfaces that are pulled apart in a gradual, controlled manner. The distraction initially gives rise to NEOVASCULARISATION (Neo=new, vascular=relating to blood), which is what actually stimulates new bone formation. In addition, there is simultaneous histogenesis (histo=tissue) of muscles, nerves and skin; in bone diseases (osteomyelitis, fibrous dysplasia, pseudo-arthrosis) this new bone replaces pathological bone with normal bone. This is a revolutionary concept; diseases for which earlier there was no treatment are now successfully treated using the Ilizarov Method.
Indications for use
• Height Increase (for dwarfs)
• Bone infections
• Poliomyelitis Sequelae (limb lengthening and correction of deformities)
• Treatment of non-unions and malunited fractures
• Correction of deformities, both congenital & acquired, of the limbs
• Badly comminuted fractures (multiple fragments) in the limbs, even with skin loss.
• Lengthening of foot stumps, limb stumps and fingers (Amputation/foot formation) The Advantages
• No skin incision is made as in a conventional operation. Incidents of haemorrhage, tissue trauma and infection are much fewer.
• The whole procedure is minimally invasive as only wires fix the bones to the rings and there is very little soft tissue damage.
• The Ilizarov fixator is very versatile; the cylindrical shape of the fixator allows deformities to be corrected simultaneously in 3 dimensions.
• The patient remains mobile throughout the course of the treatment. Intensive physiotherapy is instituted early; as a consequence, problems of joint stiffness and contractures are rare. Further, the patient's stay in the hospital is considerably reduced.