The Ilizarov treatment is a highly successful orthopedic surgical technique designed to lengthen or straighten bone and soft tissue. Additionally, the Ilizarov technology and the innovative device can sometimes save limbs that might otherwise be amputated. Although what is saved may be far short of normal in function, the patient may find that it serves his purpose adequately and may decline any further operations.
Although some form of fixation has been used in orthopedic medicine for hundreds of years, it was Russian-born Gavril Ilizarov who is considered the 'father' of circular external fixators and the Ilizarov technique. In fact, all circular external fixators today are based on Dr. Ilizarov's work from the 1950s.
Taking advantage of the remarkable fact that bone heals itself by growing, or regenerating, the Ilizarov technology can correct disfigured bones by separating two bone halves millimeter by millimeter. During this process, the body's natural ability to grow bone fills in the gap between the two bones, correcting deformities or increasing length.
The 21st century orthopedics is high-tech driven. With modern advances in emergency transportation, micro-vascular reconstructive surgery, new techniques in orthopedic surgery, limb need to treat open fractures and gunshot wounds as surgical emergencies to gain control over the wounds, preserve and restore tissue viability, render the wound surgically clean, protect and prepare the remaining vital structures for early healing.