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The Ilizarov Method

The most widely practiced technique to lengthen limbs was developed after World War II by Dr. Gavriil Ilizarov to help combat veterans:

1 Surgery is performed, essentially cutting the bone to be lengthened into two.

2 A distractor is attached after the cuts are made. The distractor can be a rod or a series of rings that encircle a leg or arm. The structure is anchored to the bone with stainless steel wire or pins.

3 Bone is pulled apart by turning external nuts 1 millimeter daily. As the bone is stretched, new bone fills the gap, and the limb is lengthened.

-- Delthia Ricks

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