Leg Lengthening (Ilizarov method)

What is Ilizarov surgery?

Professor Ilizarov was born in the Soviet union in 1921. After approximately 30 years of experience he managed to invent new techniques and treatment approaches in orthopedics. He could treat fractures, limb deformities and bone disorders using circular external fixator. This Russian professor helped many patients who suffered from nonunions and bone defects. His treatment method gained worldwide fame in 1981 in Italy.

What’s the best age for the leg lengthening surgery?

It is not recommended to get the leg lengthening surgery done unless height growth stops naturally. On the other hand, since the affected bones are incised and the surgery is based on body’s natural ability to generate and grow new bones, neither it is recommended for above 45; hence, the best years for Ilizarov surgery is between 21 to 45 years. Bone repair best happens in younger ages in this surgery.

leg lengthening and unequal limbs modification are some of the indications for this surgery. In fact, the surgery is done for cosmetic and medical purposes:

  1. Medical surgeries: Ilizarov surgery is recommended for patients suffering from unequal limbs (long limbs like calf bone or short limbs like finger bones) due to various reasons. For example, someone whose leg is a few centimeters longer than their other leg. The reason may lie in congenital diseases, fractures in childhood, growth stop in one limb, etc.
  2. Cosmetic surgery: A lot of people are unhappy with their stature and seek leg lengthening surgery.

Method of leg lengthening surgery


Ilizarov surgery requires time and frequent assessments and not all the people willing to have the surgery are good candidates. The surgeon will decide if the operation will be done for the person. Although it can be done in all ages, the surgery has shown to be more successful in young people. Candidates are able to experience a height increase somewhere between 2 to 5 inches (5 to 13 centimeters approximately).

During the surgery, leg bones are drilled and a break is made. Then a metal rod is screwed into the affected bone and lengthens 1 millimeter daily until patient’s desired height is met and bones are able to repair. The structure is called “fixator”. As the nuts of the fixator turn, the gap between the bone increases and the bone grows.


The implants used


All of the implants we use in Mortaz hospital are FDA and European standards approved.


External fixator components


This structure is made up of a number of pieces which get connected during the operation. The nuts are usually located 2 to 3 centimeters inside the bone and connected to the rods by clamps. All of the parts except the nuts are connected to each other outside the bone.


How much height increase to expect?


The results may vary between 7.5 to 10 centimeters depending on patient’s need. Ideally, one can expect up to 13 centimeters height growth.


Treatment period


This leg lengthening process can take up to 6 months. If you weigh more than 60-65 kilograms then you will need a wheelchair or elbow crutches to lessen the pressure on legs. The leg lengthening surgery is in total a tough surgery and requires sufficient time to recover. But the patient should attempt to stand the day post operation and walk under observation of a physiotherapist. 

The minimum time the patient has to stay in the hospital after the surgery is 48 hours which might extend up to 4 days. During hospitalization, the patient will have physiotherapy sessions and must move using a crutches. Doing stretches is necessary to prevent muscle stiffness and preserve body’s flexibility during recovery period.


Why should you have leg lengthening surgery in Iran and Mortaz hospital?


leg lengthening surgery is a common operation throughout the world and is done in many countries. Iran is amongst the list; with the knowledge of experienced doctors and modern facilities the operation is done in Iran in the highest quality possible.
You may wander why you should choose Mortaz hospital in Yazd province. Some of the advantages are as follows:

  • Our up to date orthopedic surgeons and our orthopedic team whom continuously attend credible congresses and communicate with renowned international professors
  • Our direct link to medical centers of other countries active in the field of leg lengthening surgery  
  • Yazd is a quiet city away from traffic and pollution and hence is the best choice to get medical services
  • Suitable costs in exchange for a thorough package of services including one month accommodation and 20 physiotherapy sessions
  • Natural and diverse tourist attractions of the city
  • Accommodation and food costs are quite affordable in Yazd and the people are hospitable and friendly


Know more about leg lengthening surgery


Note that it is important to stay in Iran for 30 days post operation. leg lengthening surgery does not give you instant results. (Take abdominoplasty and gastric sleeve surgery as an example; both are done for the same purpose. One can see immediate results right after abdominoplasty while it takes months to lose weight after sleeve surgery.)
This is why you should stay in Iran up to one month and be monitored and have physiotherapy sessions without extra expenses. We try our best to make your 30 day accommodation a memorable experience. You can enjoy visiting Yazd’s cultural sites, tourist centers and try amazing local foods meanwhile.


Also visit the packages  knee replacement and ACL/PCL


Step by step Treatment

all steps are done without waiting and wasting time

  • Day 1 (Confirmation)
  • Day 2 (Admission)
  • Day 3 (surgery)
  • Recovery Period (2 Days)
  • Prevent possible infection
  • Recovery period during accommodation
  • physiotherapy
  • Follow up

Before traveling to Iran, you must first send us your medical records to be assessed by your doctor (this may reoccur several times). Where necessity, you can video call your surgeon. You might have to send us your radiology images. In the end and by doctor’s final confirmation you can begin your admission and hospitalization process.

After entering the hospital and final admission, you’ll be taken to the international patients’ unit and be examined by a specialist. Your medical record will be created. Medication history, treatment history and possible health problems you had before will be assessed and recorded. You’ll be hospitalized to be monitored and prepare for the surgery. In the meantime, a nurse will assess your medical conditions, check blood pressure and take blood sample to determine your blood type and be used for further laboratory tests such as blood sugar.
A cardiologist will examine you and take an ECG test and Echocardiography test if needed. they do after completing your admission. There are two types of anesthesia used during this surgery: general or spinal. After consulting with you, The medical team will decide the best type of anesthesia for you.

Information about your surgery and pre surgery directions will be given to you. You’ll be taken to operating room according to predetermined timing and be anesthetized. The operation begins after a couple of minutes and roughly takes 2 hours. First, there’s cut made into the bone and then metal pins and nuts will be placed into it and finally external structures will be connected to the pins.
By the end of the operation and locating fixators, you’ll be transferred to a recovery room. Your vital signs will be recorded and you will be constantly under observation of anesthesiologist and surgeon. After waking up, you’ll either be transferred to special care unit or your room. Medications will be continued to prevent infections. Hemorrhage is perfectly under control and bandages are changed regularly. Also, pain reliever is injected by the pump. You’ll be examined by your doctor after consciousness.

First day: 
Sometimes, the patient may have to stay in the hospital in order to be monitored and have physiotherapy sessions. New laboratory tests will be taken to assure your health. You will be examined by a physician. In case of need, some radiology imaging might be taken to assess limbs’ status. An urinary catheter will be inserted so that you won’t have to get out of bed to pee. You’ll be totally monitored and your bandages will be changed regularly to prevent infections.

Second day: 
You stay for more cares. If conditions were stable, the catheter would be removed. You’ll be examined by your doctor and see your physiotherapist. your medical team will teach you necessary instructions. They’ll help you get out of bed and you’ll be trained to walk with fixators properly. If your medical condition remains stable, home care instructions after hospital discharge and appropriate exercises will be given by the physiotherapist. We’ll make sure you can walk on your own and have learned all instructions. everything that you need to know after hospital discharge.

Preventing infections by meticulous surgical procedure proper using antibiotics and disinfecting nuts. Do not let the secretions become dry and if this happened remove the clot to let the secretions flow out and keep it moist and greasy applying tetracycline ointment. Wash the rods using cotton and serum.

Your doctor will prescribe instructions for your activity level after surgery. Most people are limited to light activities and should use a crutches when walking. Some may need to wear brace or splint. Your doctor begins moving the rods couple days after surgery.
during the course of recovery your physical activity gradually will increase until the patient can tolerate their body weight. Having physiotherapy sessions may be needed to improve physical activity level.

we have detail physiotherapy plan for you, during your accommodation in Iran. All of your physiotherapy sessions will be held on by our professional physiotherapy team of experts whom have mastered Ilizarov surgery physiotherapy courses. 

It is suggested to stay in Iran up to one month post operation to prevent a demanding journey and have easy access to doctor to be examined in case of need. In addition, you’ll need many physiotherapy sessions.
You can return home one month after surgery. But you should remember that your treatment process is not over yet and you might need to follow your doctor’s instructions for up to 3 months and continue physiotherapy sessions for 6 months. 
We’ll follow you up and you can always contact us or even video call your doctor.
When desired results are met, the pins will be removed by the doctor.

What services

are included in this package?

Ancillary accommodation services:

  • Medical visa issuance
  • Within city transportation from hotel to the hospital
  • Airport reception
  • Flight booking (if you wish to)
  • Local SIM card
  • Pack of personal items
  • Reservation of desired hotel
  • Interpreter during treatment

Ancillary medical services:

  • All of the operating room materials like implants
  • translator in different languages in the hospital
  • An accompanying nurse
  • Medication
  • Free follow-up
  • Free consultation before treatment
  • Carrying out all affairs without delay
  • Unlimited doctor visits
  • 20 physiotherapy sessions
  • Medical Imaging 
  • Cardiology consultation
  • Pulmonology consultation
  • All of the necessary laboratory tests
  • immediate necessary interventions in case of any emergency


Packages prices


Basic (USD)

17,500 $ - 22,500 $
  • 20 physiotherapy sessions 
  • 30 days accommodation
  • 2 nights stay in hospital
  • Breakfast & lunch for the entire stay of the patient and one companion
  • Transfer to and from hospital and accommodation during whole stay in Yazd
  • Crutches

Doctors Name

Advantages of this surgery
  • Height increase, self-confidence increase, balanced body and prevention from spine disorders (for people with unequal limbs)

Disadvantages of this surgery
  • Stiffness and limited range of motions of joints, pain, nerve and vein damage, infection


Register the package request

We've included all the medical and welfare services you might need during your trip to Iran and treatment at Mortaz Hospital in this package so that you have a comfortable medical trip.

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