The Ilizarov bone-lengthening procedure uses a circular external fixator device that attaches to the bone via transfixion wires. A corticotomy (percutaneous osteotomy) is performed, permitting attachment of the wires. Periodic adjustment of the external fixator produces a distractive lengthening force, which gradually stimulates new bone growth.
Bone-lengthening procedures are considered medically necessary for the correction of congenital or post-traumatic limb length discrepancies and angular deformities of the limb (arm, forearm, thigh, or leg). Specific cases include:
- demonstrable non-union or mal-union of long bone with or without bone loss or infection;
- lengthening of an amputation stump where needed for proper fitting of a prosthesis;
- leg lengthening needed to equalize leg length discrepancy greater than 6 cm and to correct congenital or post-traumatic angular/rotational deformations of the long bones;
- bone defects with or without deformities.