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Between 1985 and 1990 we treated 11 large segmental bone defects (average 6.7 cm) in ten patients with the Ilizarow technique. Open fractures, type III according to Gustilo, represented the largest group (8 of 11 cases). The average delay before the Ilizarov technique was initiated was 8.9 months. The external fixator was usually maintained for 1 year. Bone regeneration was obtained in every case. Consolidation was not fulfilled with this technique in three cases. the complications observed were one refracture, four leg-length discrepancies (average 1.5 cm), and five axial deformities exceeding 5 degrees. No pin-track infection was observed. In our limited series of four type IIIC open fractures treated by the llizarov technique, no patients required amputation. The llizarov technique is particularly useful in the treatment of large bone defects, without major complications, especially if there is an adequate initial debridement.