A bone graft is a surgical procedure used to fix problems with bones or joints. Bone grafting, or transplanting of bone tissue, is beneficial in fixing bones that are damaged from trauma, or problem joints. It’s also useful for growing bone around an implanted device, such as a total knee replacement. A bone graft may fill a void where bone is absent or help provide structural stability.
The bone used in a bone graft can come from your body, a donor, or it can be entirely man-made. The bone graft can provide a framework where new, living bone can grow if it’s accepted by the body.
The two most common types of bone grafts are:
- An allograft uses bone from a deceased donor or a cadaver that has been cleaned and stored in a tissue bank.
- An autograft comes from a bone inside your body, such as your ribs, hips, pelvis, or wrist.
The type of graft used depends on the type of injury your surgeon will be repairing. Allografts are commonly used in hip, knee, or long bone reconstruction. Long bones include arms and legs. The advantages are there’s no additional surgery needed to acquire the bone. It also lowers your risk of infection since additional incisions or surgery aren’t required.