Limb lengthening is now achievable to the entire satisfaction. It has been performed successfully for about 50 years in Kurgan, Russia. Prof. Gavriil A. Ilizarov developed the concept in 1951.The first case of leg-lengthening was performed by Prof. G. A Ilizarov in 1972.
First an external fixation frame was developed that was placed around the leg. Knowing that compression of the fracture would help stimulate bone healing. The patient was instructed to gradually compress the non-union by turning a rod. However, the patient turned the rod the wrong way and caused distraction (separation) of the fracture. Prof. Ilizarov noticed that new bone had formed in the gap between the bone ends. This was the beginning of much research and development that showed that limb lengthening was possible, safe and effective.
Ilizarov Method is a low invasive technique. It means that all manipulations are done through small incisions (1-1.5 cm) and all soft and bone tissues are damaged as little as possible. After operation the limb is fixed with an external device (Ilizarov apparatus), which is removed after the end of treatment.
Ilizarov and his colleagues performed thousands of limb lengthening procedures in Kurgan, Russia.