A bone graft is surgery to place new bone into spaces around a broken bone or bone defects.
The new bone can be taken from the patient's own healthy bone (this is called an autograft) or from frozen, donated bone (allograft).
A surgeon makes a cut over the bone defect. The bone graft is shaped and inserted into and around the area. The new bone is held in place with pins, plates, or screws. Stitches are used to close the wound. A splint or cast is usually used to prevent injury or movement while healing.
Bone grafts are used to:
- Fuse joints to prevent movement
- Repair broken bones (fractures) that have bone loss
- Repair injured bone that has not healed
The risks for any anesthesia include:
- Reactions to medications
- Problems breathing
The risks for any surgery include:
Most bone grafts help the bone defect to heal with little risk of graft rejection.
Recovery time depends on the injury or defect being treated and generally varies from 2 weeks to 2 months. Vigorous exercise may be restricted for up to 6 months.
Review Date: 7/17/2008
Reviewed By: Andrew L Chen, MD, MS, Orthopedist, The Alpine Clinic, Littleton, NH. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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