Byline: Joan Orendain, Contributor
IT WOULD seem almost a miracle, but its not. Deceased, crushed and deformed bones may be made to regenerate or be reshaped, aided by an exotic-sounding surgical method known as the Ilizarov procedure.
Gavril Abramovich Ilizarov, a Russian orthopedic surgeon, devised the amazing technique in the 1950s. It was introduced to the Western world in the 1980s, and by 1990, the Ilizarov procedure was in wide use among orthopedic surgeons in the first world.
The good news is that a dedicated Filipino orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Juanito S. Javier, works to propagate Ilizarovs method here.
With the support of the organization he founded, and of which he is president, Asami (Association for the Study and Application of the Methods of Ilizarov), he has introduced over 300 doctors to the basic science behind Ilizarov surgery through a basic course and workshop held annually.
In addition, seven Filipinos and two Nepalese had advanced training through a fellowship program in Advanced Ilizarov Surgery which was organized by Javier. The laboratory where these groups are mentored is at the Ilizarov and Limb Deformity Service of the Department of Orthopedics-University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital.
He is very proud to note that the first fellow of the program, Dr. Daniel Dungca, now heads the Ilizarov Service at the Jose Reyes Memorial Hospital, where he performs many such procedures. He is also proud to add that another former student, Dr. Frederick Nicomedez, now heads the Ilizarov and Limb Deformity Service at the PGH.
As if that number werent enough, Javier has helped spread the faith at the University of Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur, as one of many invited faculty …