• Users Online: 101
  • Home
  • Print this page
  • Email this page
Home About us Editorial board Ahead of print Current issue Search Archives Submit article Instructions Subscribe Contacts Login 

 Table of Contents  
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 68-69

G. A. ilizarov. How i remember him

Humanitas Clinical and Research Hospital - IRCCS via Manzoni, 56 - 20089 Rozzano (Milan), Italy

Date of Submission14-May-2021
Date of Acceptance14-May-2021
Date of Web Publication30-Jun-2021

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Kirienko Alexander
via Manzoni, 56 - 20089 Rozzano (Milan)
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2455-3719.320062

Rights and Permissions

How to cite this article:
Alexander K. G. A. ilizarov. How i remember him. J Limb Lengthen Reconstr 2021;7:68-9

How to cite this URL:
Alexander K. G. A. ilizarov. How i remember him. J Limb Lengthen Reconstr [serial online] 2021 [cited 2021 Dec 8];7:68-9. Available from: https://www.jlimblengthrecon.org/text.asp?2021/7/1/68/320062

I have the fortune to know professor Ilizarov and worked with him from August 1982 to July 1992, till he was alive.

Ilizarov in this time was very famous in Russia, but not recognized again in the West Countries.

To describe now any his characteristic is difficult in this small article. However, few small considerations is possible to do.

It is amazing for anybody only thinking about his education story and self-improvement. He was the son of poor family and herding sheep when was small. He start the school at 11 years, 18 years old he go to Medical School IN Crimea and finish it in Kazakistan in 5 years during the Second World War. After that he only working like a general doctor, no more education, only work and books! All his knowledge and science he invented buy himself and with his assistants! Slowly slowly from the single experience and treatment of the patients he creates philosophy and new orthopedic technology that revolutionized modern orthopedics. This permits him build the Orthopedic Center famous in all the word.

Nevertheless, I will speak about the time I work with him. When I arrived in Kurgan 1982 I start workig in the 2nd department for the adult. It was considered “secret” department, because many new technology were developed there, like foot, hand, and forearm surgery. Many other original surgery were doing there, like a widening of the leg for cosmetic aim for the women's after poliomyelitis, widening of the leg for improving peripheric blood circulation in vascular pathology and later in diabetic patients, creation of the foot from the leg stump. I found there the patient with bilateral leg amputation who waked with frames and special sole and Ilizarov does Reconstruction of the new foot. For me it was amassing! In 1983, we transferred in the new building and after 3 years I became the chief of foot and hand department and worked there until my immigration in Italy.

Ilizarov was incredibly inventive man, any clinical case and treatment resolution for him was unique. He studied this case in advance and again before the surgery. In any Clinical case, he noticed details that no one from us, collaborators, identified before. Day before surgery he do “Razbor” (Planning), studied the case for long time in the late evening and always want to try the original resolution of this case, the surgery that was never done before. After that, he want to patent all his surgeries and devices that were used [Figure 1].
Figure 1: Ilizarov studied clinical case of the girl with congenital malformation of forearm

Click here to view

During surgery, the same approach. The circular frame he build any time should be stable, perfect, adapted for this patient, functional and no bulky. In the beginning we prepared and prebuild the frame, but we abolished this, because the frame was never perfect during surgery, he destroyed it and build the new one. This was more evident in the construction of the foot frame for deformity correction. He thinks about hinge position, direction of the traction forces, prevention of complication and the skin necrosis. One time we do surgery and constructed together really original the apparatus for Complex correction of equino-cavus foot. He was continuing surgery and building step by step the frame with the long plates connected like triangle in the apex of the major deformity, it was adopted of this case with severe cavus and if was so original that after surgery was patented like new device. Now this frame in the Museum of the Center. Hand surgery cases with soft tissue distraction for sindaclity was strange but amassing for his originality. His new device for hand, the minidistractor he invented in one night and Ilizarov Clinic is used it till today.

Ilizarov was always right. All that were happened around him were mistakes of the colleges. When the patient broken the leg or some other complication happened after removing the frame, it was our fault and he said in this case “Nedoderghali” that means that we keep frame for short, not sufficient time for healing. Wince versa when the bone regenerate was strong and the leg perfect, the mistake was another type “Perederghali” - you keep the frame too long.

But he have capacity and attention to hear any advice, small consideration from colleges. In the first approach, he do not like it or consider mistaken, but in the future he remember this idea and used it in his job and presented like his personal new invention. Probably many of us use this trick.

During treatment Ilizarov visiting the patients with the same accuracy. We keep al the X-rays in the hard copy (there was only this possibility, no digital pictures), and attached them in the long accordion. He looked all the picture from the beginning to the end because he want to see continuing changing of the bone during distraction and correction procedure, do comparison with preoperative view [Figure 2].
Figure 2: Ilizarov observed series of the X rays pictures presented by Dr. Kirienko Alexander

Click here to view

Ilizarov was very severe with all the People around him, he was resentful and remember you any small mistake in you carrier and it was difficult to make the thing that he will forget this mistake.

We depended in him for all our life. Clinical Position, the apartment for young doctor family was completely depended from his decision, because there was no apartment property in Soviet Union, Government may give you one. To have an own apartment was really difficult, for us Government was our Professor we called him “Cheff”. What the “Cheff” said was indisputable low.

Ilizarov dedicated all his life for the job, for his passion. He never stop his work and never relax for long time, never tired. During the week he was always presented in the Center till late evening or the night, but in weekend he works in the office, we called it “Bunker”, one apartment near of his living apartment and he work there with collaborators for the scientific job, for publication, for congress preparation, always late and always busy. For 25 years of his job, he never been in vacation.

His vacation was only when he tripping for some Congresses. I participate with him for few Congresses. We always bring with us minimum two big, 30 Kg heavy, bag with the slides for presentation. Old slides, he preferred to have them in the glass frame because it was harder, the slides were more protected for many presentation he did. However, those slides was much heavier than normal ones. We bring 2 or 3 carousel projectors (25 Kg each). Before the presentation in his international trip, he always want to revisiting presentation in the evening. He do review of the presentation, change the position of the slides in the carousel row, and I want to ensure you that it was much more difficult that do it now in Power Point.

More time passed through more fortunate I feel to have living this unrepeatable experience with this genius of man.

Two picture with my teacher:


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2]


Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
Access Statistics
Email Alert *
Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)

  In this article
Article Figures

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded11    
    Comments [Add]    

Recommend this journal