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.