During a bone graft, a donated piece of bone is added to the site of a fracture or other bone defect. The new bone can spur bone growth, bridge a gap in a bone, provide support, and aid in healing. The new bone may come from another part of your body (autograft) or from another person (allograft). Rarely, synthetic grafts, which are not bone, are also used.
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Problems from the procedure are rare, but all procedures have some risk. Your doctor will review potential problems, like:
- Blood clots
- Nerve damage
- Rejection of a donor graft
- Anesthesia reaction
- Rarely, fat particles dislodge from the bone marrow and travel to the lung
Before your procedure, talk to your doctor about ways to manage factors that may increase your risk of complications, such as:
- Chronic diseases, such as diabetes or obesity
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.
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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
The Canadian Orthopaedic Association http://www.coa-aco.org
When it Hurts to Move—Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation http://whenithurtstomove.org
Bone and tissue transplantation. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Ortho Info website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00115. Updated January 2009. Accessed June 26, 2015.
Bone grafting. The Cleveland Clinic website. Available at http://my.clevelandclinic.org/services/orthopaedics-rheumatology/treatments-procedures/bone-grafting. Updated 2015. Accessed June 26, 2015.
Bone grafts in spine surgery. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Ortho Info website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00600. Updated July 2010. Accessed June 26, 2015.