What is an external fixator?

The external fixator is a device attached to the outside of the extremity and fixed to the bone with bone nails. These nails connect the external fixator to the bone and pass through the skin and muscles. External fixators are successfully applied by experienced orthopedic specialists in closed and open fractures, nonunion fractures, height extension surgery, correction of arm and leg curvatures, and chronic bone inflammation (osteomyelitis).

What is the Ilizarov Method?

The Ilizarov method, developed by Professor Gavriil Abramovich Ilizarov, is an orthopedic treatment method in which the bone is fixed with thin wires and hoops (external fixator).

Leg Shortness Causes

Short legs can be congenital, developmental and post-traumatic. These patients can be treated by experienced orthopedic specialists in height increase surgery.

Height increase surgery

Height increase surgery is a surgical treatment method using the Ilizarov method, which aims to correct the length differences in arms and legs by replacing bone loss by orthopedic specialists. It should be done by experienced orthopedic specialists in the field. The surgery is performed to patients with birth defects, shortness due to bone loss or inequalities in arms and legs due to trauma. It is a surgical method that can be applied to patients between 3-70 years old. The device to be applied to the patient is prepared on the patient before the operation. In this method, the bone to be lengthened is deliberately lengthened by the surgeon and new bone is expected to form in the lengthening zone. The length of the bone to be lengthened by the lengthening operation can be extended to 15-100% of the normal length. During the operation, various nails and wires are fixed to the patient’s bone. The lengthening is usually started at the first week after surgery and the bone ends are separated from each other by 1 mm per day. Patients may be discharged approximately 1 week after surgery. Orthopedic rehabilitation should be started in order to keep the muscles tense to protect the joint openness immediately after the lengthening operations. Patients will be able to load the operated biceps within 2-3 days after surgery and begin to walk. Patients should be encouraged to continue their daily life activities after discharge. Once the elongated limb reaches the desired length and you are sure that your bone is strong enough, the device is removed by the orthopedic specialist. After removal of the device, plaster or orthosis is applied to the extended limb for 1-2 months.

Points to be considered after Height Increase

After the lengthening operation, the nail base of the external fixator should be kept clean and dry. Dressing of the nail bases should be done at certain intervals with the solutions recommended by the orthopedic specialist. In case of continuous pain, redness, swelling, discharge and loosening in the nail, infection should be suspected and orthopedic specialist should be consulted.

Leg Curvilinear Surgery

Leg curvatures can also develop after fracture, as can be congenital or developmental. It usually leads to cosmetic complaints but actually it is an important orthopedic problem, because leg curvatures can lead to more serious orthopedic problems in later ages if not treated. For this reason it should be corrected by experienced orthopedic specialists at an early age.

In children, bone curvature can be improved by growth, but can be also worsen by growth. In congenital or acquired situations where growth cartilage is affected, the length difference between the extremities increases with age as the child grows. Physiologic “O” leg can be seen in the first 3 year. This condition is reduced by the child’s growth after 15-18 months and is completely recovered from 3-4 years old. If there is no improvement, it is necessary to investigate other diseases that may cause curvature. The timing of height increase and curvature correction operations in children is very important. The success rate decreases when surgery is performed before or after proper time.



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