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Bone Grafts: What Are They and How Do They Work?

7/10/2018

bone graft delivery system

If your upcoming medical procedure requires a bone graft, you might not know what to expect. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions regarding a bone graft procedure.

What is a bone graft?

A bone graft is an invasive surgical procedure that transplants bone tissue in order to fix issues associated with bones and joints. It uses transplanted bone -- either your own or a donor's -- to help rebuild bones that are damaged, eroded, or diseased.

Who needs it?

People of any age might require a bone graft surgery at some point in their lives. If someone experiences a trauma, like a fall, a bone graft can be used to help heal the bone where the trauma occurred. While bone fractures typically heal between two and 10 weeks, some fractures will not heal without using a bone graft delivery system.

This surgical option is also recommended for athletes, the elderly, and anyone else that might experience bone degradation.

What kinds of bone grafts are available?

The graft delivery is efficient in rebuilding bones by using your bones' own matrix to heal the affected area. The graft can be taken from three different sources: your own body (autograft), a donor's body (allograft), or a man-made vibone: a viable bone matrix.

How does it work?

After you're put under with anesthesia, your doctor will use a bone graft delivery system to administer vibone or bone tissue to promote healing at your bone's cellular level. Once the new bone is inserted through a bone funnel via a bone graft delivery device at the necessary location, it will seal itself to the old bone, thus promoting healing and stability at the affected location. Vibone is designed to be most similar to the autograft option for seamless integration with the old bone.

What is the healing process like?

You won't be able to jump for joy following your bone graft procedure: it will likely result in some pain and discomfort, however, it's common for bone graft patients to leave the same day of the surgery. It's recommended that you do not move the affected area for a period of time and you may get a brace to keep the area immobile. Following surgery, you will likely have to get periodic X-rays performed to ensure the bone graft is healing appropriately. Additionally, some grafts may require physical therapy to heal your weakened muscles.

Bone grafting is a complex procedure that's been made easier through the advents of different bone graft delivery systems and devices. Before you go in for your surgery, be sure to speak to your doctor should you have any questions.