Ilizarov Technique – What You Need To Know
There are many bone – fracture fixation techniques devised by numerous scientists. Those techniques have helped people in reducing the severity of the condition and ensuring a better lifestyle after trauma. One such technique is the Ilizarov Technique that is used in orthopedic surgeries for external fixation of the fracture. This amazing technique was developed by an orthopedic surgeon from the Soviet Union named Gavriil Abramovich Ilizarov.
What is the Ilizarov Method?
Ilizarov technique is known to effectively manage certain pediatric orthopedic conditions including trauma, deformities, defects, deficiencies of limb, and infections. This method promotes bone growth using a specialized device and by distraction osteogenesis. External Fixation Device is most commonly used in Ilizarov technique.
Ilizarov technique has made it possible to treat certain conditions that were difficult or even sometimes impossible to treat. The use of external fixator devices in this method is also known to be effective in minimizing the prevalence of nonunion.
Principle Behind Ilizarov Technique
Ilizarov technique works on the principle of “tension stress” where gradual distraction results in the stimulation of bone production and neogenesis. This method reduces the need for internal fixation and supplemental bone grafting.
Tissue-sparing cortical osteotomy-osteoclasis technique is used in this method that results in the preservation of osteogenic elements in the limb. It is noticed that the use of the Ilizarov method results in the regeneration of good-quality bone.
Clinical Applications of Ilizarov Technique
Ilizarov method is used for the fixation of fracture in both adult and pediatric patients having open fractures along with severe wound and/or soft tissue contamination. External Fixation Device is most commonly used during the application of the Ilizarov method.
How is Ilizarov Technique performed?
To fix the Ilizarov fixator to the limb, surgery will be required. Wires are passed percutaneously through the bone of the surgery site using a drill. Now, metal rings are attached using protruding ends of wires. The rings are applied to encircle the limb and tensioned to enhance stability.
After this, corticotomy is performed which involves cutting off the cortex of the bone. During corticotomy, the periosteal and endosteal blood supplies are kept intact because they play a major role in osteogenesis. Distraction begins after 5 to 10 days by turning the nuts to 0.25mm on metal rods. This is done four times per day to achieve a total distraction of 1.0mm daily. This will result in osteogenesis with continuous distraction.
After stopping the distraction, the frame is kept attached to allow hardening of the new bone.
What are the Advantages of the Ilizarov Technique?
Ilizarov method is useful for fracture fixation in both adults and children. It has many benefits:
- The modular design of the Ilizarov apparatus can be customized to meet the need of each individual.
- It is admired for providing enhanced stability and distributing the stress evenly across the corticotomy along with the distraction gap.
- The frame of the Ilizarov technique is strong enough to bear optimum weight while allowing the patient with his/her day-to-day activities. It is also known to help build muscle strength while preventing joint stiffness.
- Ilizarov method involves the fixation of rings and wires only to the bone without any requirement of other skin incisions. Thus, the risk of bleeding and infection to surrounding tissues is reduced.
- It ensures proper hold on the fractured bones and in case of non-unions, provides significant compression.
- This method can also be used for limb lengthening and regeneration of bone that is lost due to trauma, infection, or tumor.
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