Bone Grafting

Overview

Definition

A bone graft adds a piece of bone to the site of a fracture or other bone problem. This can help repair and rebuild damaged bone. The new bone may come from another part of the body or from another person. Rarely, man-made grafts are also used.

Iliac Crest Graft Harvest
Nucleus Image
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Possible Complications

Problems are rare, but all procedures have some risk. The doctor will go over some problems that could happen, such as:

  • Excess bleeding
  • Problems from anesthesia, such as wheezing or sore throat
  • Infection
  • Blood clots
  • Nerve damage
  • Rejection of a donor graft
  • Fat particles that come apart from the bone marrow and travel to the lung (rare)

Things that may raise the risk of problems are:

  • Smoking
  • Drinking
  • Chronic diseases, such as diabetes or obesity

SymptomsandDiagnosis

Treatments

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.

Edits to original content made by Denver Health.

RESOURCES

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases http://www.niams.nih.gov 

Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons http://www.orthoinfo.org 

CANADIAN RESOURCES

The Canadian Orthopaedic Association http://www.coa-aco.org 

When it Hurts to Move—Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation http://whenithurtstomove.org 

References

Amanatullah DF, Strauss EJ, et al. Current management options for osteonecrosis of the femoral head: part II, operative management. Am J Orthop (Belle Mead NJ). 2011 Oct;40(10):E216-25.

Bone and tissue transplantation. Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00115. Accessed September 28, 2020.

Bone grafting. The Cleveland Clinic website. Available at http://my.clevelandclinic.org/services/orthopaedics-rheumatology/treatments-procedures/bone-grafting. Accessed September 28, 2020.

Bone grafts in spine surgery. Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00600. Accessed September 28, 2020.