Ilizarov Deformity Correction

Hemii -7944Lower extremity deformity can be caused by prior injury, compartment syndrome, fractures, congenital conditions, neurologic conditions, and degenerative conditions such as arthritis.

Examples of complex deformities around the ankle and hindfoot include ankle or distal tibia varus or valgus deformity, flat feet (pes planus), cavus feet (pes cavus, Charcot-Marie-Tooth), rocker bottom feet (Charcot midfoot), and equinus deformity.   We use a number of techniques such as osteotomy, tendon lengthening or transfer, ligament repair, and fascial release to address these deformities with the goal of restoring alignment, stability and functions and minimizing pain.

Ilizarov frames provide a versatile fixation system for the management of bony deformities, fractures and their complications. The frames give stability, soft tissue preservation, adjustability and functionality allowing bone to realise its full osteogenic potential.


Prof. Gavriil Abramovich Ilizarov started his career treating a number of patients in western Siberia, who had returned from World War II having sustained fractures. During the 1950s, Ilizarov began experimenting with external fixation designs; in 1954, he successfully treated his first patient, a factory worker with a tibial non-union. He experienced excellent results, significantly reducing healing time.

During this time, he also, by chance, discovered distraction osteogenesis for bone lengthening when he observed callus formation in a patient who had mistakenly distracted his frame instead of compressing it.

In 1968, Valery Brumel, an Olympic champion high jumper at the 1964 games, visited Ilizarov in Kurgan. He had suffered a compound fracture of his distal tibia in 1965 and, despite 20 operations over 3 years, had developed an infected non-union and a significant leg-length discrepancy. His resultant surgery was a widely publicised success and gained Ilizarov recognition within the Soviet Union.

In 1980, Carlo Mauri, a well-known Italian journalist and explorer, was treated in Kurgan. Mauri had suffered a distal tibial fracture 10 years previously during an Alpine accident. Whilst on an Atlantic exploration, his old leg wound re-opened and a Russian team physician advised him to consult Ilizarov in Kurgan. On his return to Italy, the surgeons were amazed by the healing that had occurred in this long-standing non-union and, the following year, arranged for Ilizarov to present his findings at the AO Conference in Bellagio. News of this advance was quick to travel and very soon was being adopted by surgeons both sides of the Atlantic.

Conditions Dr. Todd Kim Treats

Utilizing the Ilizarov Deformity Correction Approach

  • Trauma- tibia fractures,

  • Ankle fractures

  • Ankle Fusion

  • Complications of trauma: nonunions of tibia fractures, infected nonunions

  • Deformity or limb lengthening: malunion, crooked or shortened legs, tibias,

Taylor Spatial Frame

tsf_banner_520x200The TAYLOR SPATIAL FRAME fixator utilized by Dr. Todd Kim as an external device for limb correction, lengthening and/or straightening that is based on the ILIZAROV™ method.

This external fixator takes advantage of the body’s natural ability to grow healthy new bone tissue and gives the surgeon the ability to accurately move bones to their correct anatomic alignment.

The TAYLOR SPATIAL FRAME device fits around your limb and is attached to the bone with pins or wires that extend from the rings, through the skin and bone to the other side.

The TAYLOR SPATIAL FRAME device is a circular, metal frame with two rings that connect with six telescopic struts that can be independently lengthened or shortened relative to the rest of the frame. This allows for six different axes of movement, which gives the TAYLOR SPATIAL FRAME device the ability to correct even the most difficult congenital deformities and trauma cases.

When using the TAYLOR SPATIAL FRAME device, Dr. Kim inputs information about your original bone deformity into an advanced web-based computer application. This information is then interpreted by the software and a day-by-day treatment plan is created. The software also creates an image of your deformity on screen and shows how the bones should be moving each day, until the bones are completely set in proper alignment.

You then make daily adjustments to the struts, depending on your prescribed course of treatment. As the adjustments are made, the rings are repositioned with respect to each other, moving bones in the directions necessary for treatment.

Dr. Kim is able to make a side-by-side comparison of current X-Rays and the projected plan of treatment graphics created by the TAYLOR SPATIAL FRAME device software. This comparison ensures that your bones are healing in the correct alignment and at the appropriate pace. The TAYLOR SPATIAL FRAME External Fixator is a winner of the Medical Device Excellence Award.

Dr. Todd Kim ~ Orthopedic Surgeon

“Although I treat many patients with similar orthopedic injuries, I believe that the best outcomes for patients result from individualized treatment plans. Not every injury is the same. And to be sure, every patient has his or her own goals. Whether your hope is to return to a high level of competitive sports or to be able to walk your dog without pain, forming the best treatment plan requires excellent communication and trust with your surgeon. I am committed to listening and working with you to find the best treatment approach for your injury and lifestyle.”

Dr. Todd Kim is an Orthopedic Surgeon specializing in complex and traditional shoulder, elbow, knee and ankle conditions and treatments.