Bone grafting is a surgical procedure that uses transplanted bone to replace missing bones and to help heal any problems caused by broken or diseased bones. Bone grafting surgery can also be performed to help bone form around a medical device such as a joint replacement. There are a variety of reasons as to why medical practitioners would perform bone graft procedures such as multiple fractures that did not heal correctly, bone regeneration caused by disease or an injury, healing bones after the implantation of medical devices, and fusion to help two bones heal across a damaged joint.
How is Bone Grafting Performed?
Bone graft surgery consists of the surgeon placing a new piece of bone or bone graft material into the area where the bone injury occurred. The new bone and bone tissue can be from a different area of the patient’s body, referred to as autograft material. This is beneficial because the bone maintains the patient’s regeneration and rebuilding properties. Bone graft material and new bone can be from a donor which is most likely a cadaver. This is known as allograft material, and medical practitioners do not have to worry about matching blood type since the bone does not have living cells. The bone graft material may also be a synthetic material made up of naturally occurring proteins.
The new bone can be molded to fit where the broken or diseased bone was, and bone graft material is used to help the cells from the bone matrix of the new bone piece adhere to the old bone. Bone graft material can be used to fill disks and gaps without placing in a new bone. There are common devices to perform bone graft surgery and new advances in bone grafting technology that can make the process easier. Below are three tips to help with choosing an effective graft delivery system.
Consider What is Available
Bone graft material is inserted through either a bone funnel, syringe, or cannula. These are the most common devices in bone grafting technology to perform bone graft surgery, and each has its advantages and disadvantages.
The bone funnel is a funnel-shaped delivery device that is connected to a cylinder. The bone graft material is filled into the bone funnel and pushed through the cylinder. It is not a single-use device and needs to be sterilized for each use. It also is not able to be filled with the bone graft material before it is positioned.
Using a syringe can be beneficial because they are single-use and do not need to be sterilized. It is filled with bone graft material and inserted into the bone graft site. It can be difficult to position the syringe, and because of this, it is mostly used with a cannula. A cannula is positioned into the site, while the syringe is connected to the top of it. The syringe pushes the bone graft material through itself and then the cannula. The cannula is also single-use and disposable, which can be a benefit in the surgery.
There are new bone grafting technology devices that eliminate the problems that the common delivery devices have, and considering all of your options is important when choosing your device.
Bone graft technology has evolved just like everything else in the medical field. There are new delivery devices that deliver the bone graft material to difficult places with ease and precision. These devices help eliminate problems that may arise from the common delivery devices while also using pre-filled tubes. Researching new developments and devices in bone graft technology can help when choosing what device would work best for you and your patients.
Keep an Open Mind to New Technology
When choosing a delivery device for performing bone grafting surgeries, you may feel comfortable staying with the devices you are used to. Even if this has worked in the past for you and your patients, a new addition to bone grafting technology can enhance your surgeries and make it more efficient. An option may be to have multiple devices available instead of just one to guarantee you are using what works best for you and the patient.