An Overview of Allografts and Their Benefits in Bone Repair
17 Sep 2020
Bone grafting is necessary to repair fractured and damaged bones and joints after an injury. Bone grafting is also done to repair multiple or complex fractures that didn’t respond well to the initial treatment. For bone graft surgery, surgeons rely on two main types of bone grafts — allograft and autograft.
What Is an Allograft and an Autograft?
This type of bone graft is derived from the bones of a deceased donor or a cadaver. Allografts are largely used to repair fractured and damaged bones of the knees, hips, and the arms and legs (long bone reconstruction). There are 38,600 surgeons working in the U.S. as established by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and most of them prefer to use allografts for bone graft surgeries.
On the other hand, autografts are extracted from the bones inside a patient’s body. These bones include the ribs, hips, wrist, or the pelvis. Mostly, autografts are largely used to repair minor bone fractures and damages that don’t require much bone graft to heal. This is because there’s a limit to how much bone graft you can extract from a patient.
What Are the Benefits of Using an Allograft for Bone Repair?
For starters, using an allograft will reduce your patient’s pain, as it is minimally invasive, and doesn’t require additional surgery as it is the case with autografts. Surgeons only make an incision for bone graft delivery — there is no need for an extra incision for bone graft harvesting. With today’s bone grafting technology, there are modern devices for graft delivery that make graft surgery much more painless for patients. They include the Graftgun® that helps you dispense the bone graft much more accurately, with minimal disturbance to the surgical site. Therefore, when you choose to use an allograft and go on and use a graft delivery system (GDS®), your patient will have a fast recovery time as there are fewer wounds to heal.
Secondly, allografts have a low risk of graft rejection because the transplanted bone has no living cells, which is the case with autografts. When a doctor uses an allograft for bone graft surgery, there is no need to match blood types between the donor and the patient, because allografts do not contain living bone marrow. This saves valuable time for you and your patient.
Lastly, using an allograft for bone graft surgery is less likely to have complications, since there is only one surgical site on the patient’s body. Managing multiple incisions is not as desirable, mostly because the extra surgical incisions will cause your patient more pain during recovery. Additionally, there’s a higher risk that something may go wrong during surgery when you have multiple surgical sites on a patient’s body.
What Are the Advantages of Using a Bone Graft Delivery System to Deliver Allografts?
As you already know, bone graft surgery calls for microscopic precision, especially when delivering the bone graft to a patient. Today, advancement in bone graft delivery systems has brought about graft delivery devices that are extremely handy. One of the top devices utilized by most surgeons is the Graftgun®. The advantages of the Graftgun® are plenty, and it’s why many surgeons have dropped the traditional funnel method of graft delivery, in its favor.
First, you can operate it with one hand, and you get a tactile feel when filling the allograft. Furthermore, the Graftgun® is well calibrated and allows you to deliver the exact amount of bone graft without disturbing the surgical site. Lastly, it helps you deliver the bone graft even in the complicated interbody cages that are difficult to fill and access.
Whether you decide to use an allograft or an autograft to repair your patient’s fractured and damaged bones, a good graft delivery device will come in handy. You should trust the reputable bone graft manufacturers to supply you with a quality device for bone graft delivery.
Explaining Bone Grafts And Bone Graft Delivery Devices
15 Sep 2020
Currently, as many as 3.8 million U.S. men and women get around with the help of an assistive medical device. What if there is a better way?
“A bone graft may fill an area where bone is absent or help provide structural stability,” Healthline writes. That means joints can be restructured, bones can be regrown or regenerated, and/or existing bone around critical stabilizing structures, like plates, screws, and joint replacements, heals faster and better. That also means that injuries leave less of a lasting impact and, in some cases, it is possible to get around without an assistive device sometimes — or even altogether.
Learn what a bone graft is, when bone grafts are appropriate, and all about the bone graft delivery systems currently available.
What Is A Bone Graft?
John Hopkins Medicine defines bone grafting as “a surgical procedure that uses transplanted bone to repair and rebuild diseased or damaged bones.” Further, Hopkins explains that bones consist of two primary materials: the strong outer material and, inside, living bone cells. When you break or fracture a bone, these living bone cells get to work to repair it. If you lose too much of your bone, these living cells can no longer do their job — leaving you with a permanent injury if it goes untreated.
Bone grafts use living bone cells from other bones in your body or from donated bone. These bone cells act as the ones you are missing normally would, giving your bone or joint the ability to heal.
Not Just For Dental Implants!
Many of us may have heard about bone grafts and devices for graft delivery thanks to dental implants. Dental implants are just one possible use of the important surgical practice. In fact, bone grafts can help heal bone anywhere on your body.
Grafts may be used for fractures, broken bones, spinal injuries, spinal fusion surgery, bone diseases, and certain types of cancer. Some surgeons use bone grafts to help fuse existing bones to plates, screws, and other materials used in stabilizing surgeries, like hip replacements.
Devices For Graft Delivery
The average bone fracture will heal in two to 10 weeks’ time. If healing takes any longer than that, that is an indicator that there may be a problem. This is just one of the situations that can be remedied with a bone graft.
Should you find yourself in need of a bone graft, there are several popular delivery systems. Some of the most effective devices for graft delivery include:
- A graft gun. A graft gun uses a precise, controlled release trigger, body, and tube to infuse a bone void with living bone cells. The delivery is smooth and absolutely accurate.
- Access needle kits. Access needles allow for precision during small and meticulous procedures. Needles have a built-in stop, preventing the needle from going too far. Needle length is adjustable, and most come with a handle for steady maneuvering.
- Guidewires. A final means of injecting living bone cells where necessary is using a guidewire or guidewire delivery system. Guidewires are minimally invasive and allow for exact, careful — yet flexible — movement. This may be the best delivery system for bones or voids in awkward or hard-to-reach places.
A bone graft is a procedure with incredible potential to heal a bone or fracture that is not healing on its own and potential to help patients walk or move around without an assistive device. Talk to a trusted medical supplies provider about the best delivery systems for your patients.