KARACHI, Feb 11: Ilizarov technique has a lot of potential in managing common orthopaedic problems with better results than the conventional methods.
This was stated by Dr Masood Umer, consultant orthopaedic surgeon, Aga Khan University at the Sign, Symptoms and Care Public Health Awareness Programme, says an AKU statement issued here on Sunday.
However, most orthopaedic surgeons in the country are unaware of this technique and manage these problems using the conventional techniques, he said.
The programme focuses on orthopaedic issues of limb lengthening and deformity procedure, shoulder problems and keyhole surgery. Dr Masood Umer and Dr Haroonur Rashid, consultant orthopaedic surgeons, informed the audience that two orthopaedic surgeons at AKUH had recently gained expertise in Ilizarov techniques abroad and had recently started a combined Ilizarov clinic.
So far, more than three hundred procedures have been performed successfully by both the surgeons employing the technique in question.
G. Ilizarov was a Russian surgeon who developed this technique. A circular external fixator is applied to the concerned bone and the deformity is corrected gradually. Patients who develop soft tissue contractures, deformities and shortening because of poliomyelitis can benefit a lot from this technique.
Neglected trauma, non-unions and mal-united crooked bones, besides, regular cases of limb lengthening, infected fractures and osteomyelitis are also manageable by Ilizarov method.
Dr M. A. Wajid, consultant orthopaedic surgeon, said that the common problem of shoulder pain could now be treated through medication, rehabilitation and arthroscopic (keyhole) surgery.
“The main advantage is that the procedure is done as day care ie the patient can go home the same day. The whole procedure is done through two or three small holes, resulting in less pain and early movements,” he said.
Shoulder pain is a fairly common problem and it affects patient’s activities of daily living and work. There are usually two main groups of people suffering from this problem, middle aged/elderly patients, sportsmen and women.
The statement further pointed out that as part of its outreach programme and societal commitment to creating awareness of early diagnosis and timely treatment, the AKUH had organised over 200 signs, symptoms and care programmes in Karachi, Hyderabad and the UAE, benefiting more than 40,000 people.
Similarly, the Aga Khan University Hospital’s Patient Welfare Programme offers financial assistance to those patients who are unable to afford the treatment. In 2006, more than 74 per cent of all patients treated at the AKUH were from low- to middle-income groups. Since the inception of this welfare programme in 1986, over Rs1.6 billion has been disbursed to more than 300,000 needy patients.—APP