Ilizarov Method | Limb Lengthening | YCLLR

Dr. Gavril Ilizarov, an orthopedic surgeon from Russia who is credited with inventing the external fixator ring with cross wires designed for lengthening or straightening bones and soft tissues, revolutionized the treatment of orthopedic disorders. His method provides a diversified fixation system for the treatment of bone deformities and fractures. The multi-purposes of the unique parts of the Ilizarov frame allow its application in trauma and various orthopedic cases.

Although some form of fixation has been used in orthopedic medicine for hundreds of years, Ilizarov is considered to be the grandfather of external fixators. According to many experts, the Ilizarov frame, that takes its name from Dr. Gavril Ilizarov (patented in 1951), is one of the most important discoveries in the history of orthopedics, allowing in many cases the preservation and healing of limbs that might otherwise be amputated.

In the last decades, limb lengthening has not been limited to the treatment of patients with dwarfism and deformities resulting from congenital anomalies, trauma, tumor and infections, but, has also been used for aesthetic reasons. Cosmetic limb lengthening by the Ilizarov method with circular external fixation has been applied to individuals with constitutional short stature who wish to be taller.

The cosmetic leg lengthening was helpful to all patients, improving their social capabilities and self-confidence. All patients considered their stature as normal and they reported satisfaction and gratification with important changes in their professional and personal life. Cosmetic limb lengthening may raise some ethical objections and for that reason patients should be well informed about all the risks and complications related to this type of surgery.

The method spread to Italy after he successfully treated Italian journalist Carlo Mauri in 1980 for an infected tibial non-union. Mauri was so impressed that he wrote an article in an Italian newspaper naming Ilizarov the Michelangelo of Orthopedics. This was a key factor that made him famous throughout the world.

Ilizarov device Limb Lengthening YCLLR


  • It is minimally invasive procedure.
  • Opportunity to achieve necessary length, alignment and shape of the legs.
  • Low rate of complications, which in most of the cases can be qualify as an obstacle.
  • The patient can move throughout the treatment procedure. Opportunity to full weight bearing form first days after the surgery. Problems of limitation of joints range of motion are thereby reduced by extensive physical therapy.
  • The patient’s stay in the hospital is reduced for considerable period of time.
  • Opportunity to dynamically impact on the bone fragments in cases of not perfect bone formation and to perform bone training procedure before frame removal.


  • Relatively a long lasting and labor procedure.
  • Relatively a bulky and uncomfortable frame especially on the femur
  • Required patience on both patient and doctor side