GAVRIIL ABRAMOVICH ILIZAROV was born on the 15th of June 1921 in the town of Belovezh (Belorus).
He graduated from the Crimean Medical Institute in 1944 that was based in Kazakhstan during the World War II and was sent to the Kurganskaya region to work at the hospitals in the Polovinski and Kosulinski districts. In 1950, he was appointed to work as orthopaedic surgeon at the Kurgan regional hospital.
In 1951, G.A. Ilizarov proposed his own device for bone fracture consolidation and received the USSR author’s certificate No. 98471 dated 09.06.52, and that was the start of his long-time work that resulted in the development of a new scientific and practical trend in the field of bone surgery that later was called compression distraction osteosynthesis. His scientific thesis Compression osteosynthesis with the author’s apparatus in 1968 was evaluated as the thesis worth of the degree of Doctor of Medical Sciences (MD).
In 1971, G.A. Ilizarov was appointed director of the Kurgan Research Institute for Experimental and Clinical Orthopaedics and Traumatology (known as KNIIEKOT). The activities of the institute were focused on the experimental study of bone formation biology, clinical application of new developments for fracture repair and treatment of orthopaedic diseases, and on the improvement of the device design. The method of compression distraction osteosynthesis enabled to realize a deep insight into the biology of tissue regeneration in general, and into the theory of bone formation in particular.
Gavriil A. Ilizarov is the author of 600 publications and 208 medical and technical solutions. Seven books were published abroad. His discovery General biological ability of tissues to respond to graduated distraction with growth and regeneration (Ilizarov effect) was registered under the number 355 in the State Register of Inventions of the USSR in 1989.
G.A. Ilizarov was scientific supervisor of 7 theses for doctor of medical sciences degree and of 52 theses for candidate of medical sciences degree.
He was the founder and chairman of the Kurgan regional society of traumatologists and orthopaedists, member of the scientific board of the Academy of medical sciences of the USSR, member of the editorial board of the journal Orthopedia, Travmatologia i Protezirovanie, member of the executive committee of the USSR society of traumatologists and orthopaedists.
The titanic work of Professor G.A. Ilizarov was highly appreciated with a great number of national awards and medals: Honoured Doctor of RSFSR, Honoured Inventor of the USSR, Lenin Prize Winner (1978), Hero of the Socialist Labour, the Order of the Red Banner, the Medal for Labour Valour, as well as with the USSR highest order - three Orders of Lenin. G.A. Ilizarov was elected member of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
He was also awarded with a lot of international and other countries' national prizes and medals for his great contribution into medical sciences, his international activity in health care and assistance to foreign patients, for strengthening international relations: Order of Smile (Poland), Diplomas of Honorary Citizen (Milan, Lecco, Rufina, Florence in Italy), Honorary Citizen of Nancy (France), Gold Medal for Outstanding Labour (Italy), Laureate of Honor (Mongolia), Muse Prize (Italy), the highest order of Italy –the Order of Honorary Commodore, Order of Independence (Jordan), Order of Polar Star (Mongolia), international Buccheri la Ferla award, honorary member of the Macedonian academy of arts, Robert Denise award (Australia), the Order of Revolution (Palestine), the Nessim Habif award (Geneva), the Order of Banner with Golden Wrath (Yugoslavia), the medal of the Mexican Institute for Social Insurance, the Memorial Golden Florentine Coin (Italy), and others.
After the split of the USSR in 1991, Ilizarov is general director of the Russian Scientific Center for Restorative Traumatology and Orthopaedics in Kurgan.
G.A. Ilizarov passed away on July 24, 1992.