What You Need To Know About Bone Grafting

12 Jan 2022

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 38,000 surgeons are currently working in the United States. Many of them specialize in a range of services. One common treatment that is done by surgeons today is something known as a bone graft. This is a surgical procedure that uses transplanted bone, taken from one place and uses it to fix damaged bone material somewhere else in your body. It is a way to help speed up bone repair and healing and to give your body a kick-start, so your bones heal faster and stronger than they might otherwise.

How The Process Works

Most of your skeleton consists of the bone matrix which is what gives your skeleton its strength and stability. Deep in the bones, inside the matrix are living bone cells and bone marrow that generate new bone material and keep the bones alive and growing and healing themselves. The cells in this matrix can help repair and heal bone when necessary and are what is used in a bone graft.

Your surgeon might take some of this material from large bones in your body, such as the hips and legs, or other areas such as your arms or ribs to perform the graft. In certain cases, the donated bone matrix can be used in place of your own naturally occurring bone.

Understanding the Healing Process

When you break your bone, the healing process begins right away as the living cells inside the bones begin to generate new bone to cover the damaged area. As long as the break is not too severe, and the injury is not aggravated, the body can eventually heal the break on its own.

Sometimes, though, the damage may be severe, parts of the bone may be chipped away, or if the bone is cracked into several pieces it may be too difficult for the body to properly heal itself. In these cases, you will likely need a bone graft so that additional bone matrix can be supplied to ensure everything can heal properly. New bone materials are added to the damaged area and the cells inside the new bone will merge and fuse together with the old bone.

Final Thoughts

This sort of bone repair treatment is fairly common and can be done with a range of bone-related issues involving fractures and breaks. Consult with your surgeon about whether or not a bone graft is needed to properly address your broken bone dilemma and see what prognosis you can expect from the treatment.