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A bone graft is when a piece of bone is added to the site of a fracture or other bone problem. The new bone can spur bone growth, bridge a gap in a bone, provide support, and help you heal. The new bone may come from another part of your body or from another person. Rarely, man-made grafts are also used.
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A bone graft may be done to:
Problems are rare, but all procedures have some risk. Your doctor will go over some problems, like:
Before your graft, talk to your doctor about ways to manage things that may raise your risk of problems, such as:
Leading up to your graft:
You may be given
The graft method depends on the type and site of the bone injury or problem. It also depends on the type of graft you get.
Most bone grafts use your own bone. Often, the bone is taken from the bone at your hip, about where you would wear a belt. A cut is made over the part of the bone that will be removed. A special bone chisel will remove the piece of bone. The cut is then closed.
A cut will be made in the skin of the site in need of the graft. Any scar or dead tissue will be removed from the site. Your bone will then be rebuilt with the graft. Plates and screws may be used to keep the bone in place. A cast or brace may be needed after the graft.
An x-ray may be taken to make sure the bone is in the right place.
The length of your graft will depend on the repair.
Anesthesia stops pain during the graft. Pain after the graft can be relieved with medicine.
Your stay will depend on the surgery and your progress.
During your stay, the staff will take steps to lower your chance of infection, such as:
There are also steps you can take to lower your chance of infection, such as:
Care depends on the graft and graft site:
Call your doctor if you have:
If you think you have an emergency, call for emergency medical services right away.
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons
The Canadian Orthopaedic Association
When it Hurts to Move—Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation
Bone and tissue transplantation. Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00115. Updated January 2009. Accessed May 29, 2018.
Bone grafting. The Cleveland Clinic website. Available at http://my.clevelandclinic.org/services/orthopaedics-rheumatology/treatments-procedures/bone-grafting. Accessed May 29, 2018.
Bone grafts in spine surgery. Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00600. Updated January 2016. Accessed May 29, 2018.
Last reviewed May 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Warren A. Bodine, DO, CAQSM Last Updated: 5/29/2018