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After Bone Grafting: What Next?

21 Aug 2019

Bone grafting is a serious procedure, complete with multiple devices for graft delivery and a lot of prep time. But what happens once the surgery is completed? In this blog, we’ll talk about what happens when a bone graft is completed.

Post-Graft Healing Depends on the Procedure

In cases there was an extraction during the grafting process, the grafted bones will probably have sutures to secure the graft in place. It is therefore advisable for a patient to avoid any intense activity on the affected area for eight weeks or so to avoid the sutures tearing or coming off early. It’s also important to take into consideration that a bone fracture takes 2-10 weeks to heal.

Most surgeons prefer self-dissolving sutures, but many will remove the normal sutures after a few weeks of healing. Remember the area around the grafting is still sensitive so you might want to use some form of anesthetic during the suture removal process.

For grafted jawbones, patients should try to avoid any impact or roughness to the grafted area and the surrounding parts so as not to affect the healing process. Patients should make sure nothing touches or gets between the prosthesis and grafted area. Patients shouldn’t worry if some grafting material escapes while chewing; it is usually minimum and has no impact on the grafts.

Swelling After Bone Grafting

How much swelling occurs depends on the devices for graft delivery and the patient in question. The swelling map peak at approximately two to three days after the procedure. Doctors should recommend ice packs to minimize any swelling. Doctors can also administer anti-inflammatory drugs to control the swelling like dexamethasone.

Dizziness After the Grafting Procedure

Most patients will experience minor dizziness or a bit of nausea after the procedure; they shouldn’t worry. The dizziness is an aftereffect of the sedation. Doctors should closely monitor their patients after sedation to prevent any injuries from dizziness.

Discoloration or Bruising After Grafting

Certain devices for graft delivery may bring about some bruising or discoloration on and near the affected area. This bruising is normal and will subside in a few days.

Patient Discharge

Depending on the extent of the injury, devices for grafting delivery, and bone grafting delivery method, a patient may have to stay in the hospital for a few days to weeks or the same day.

Before releasing the patient, however, the doctor must provide detailed instructions on how to treat the grafted area and the necessary medication to take to facilitate and accelerate the healing process. Some medicines may interfere with the bone healing process and should, therefore, not be taken by the patient under the doctor’s instructions. A bone graft surgery will most likely require immobilization of the aggravated area, sometimes using a sling or brace to achieve this state.

Post-operative care for bone grafting is of utmost importance since it determines the effectiveness of the graft delivery and quickness of the healing process. Doctors and patients should work in tandem to make sure the grafting process is a success.