Bone Grafting


What is Bone Graft?

Bone graft is natural bone tissue or a synthetic alternative that is utilized by surgeons to assist in the repair or replacement of bone structures. Graft may be used to fill voids in bone or to encourage/stimulate the regeneration of bone tissue in the area of surgery.

Types of Bone Graft

Autologous bone graft is the patient’s own bone harvested from one site in the body and re-implanted into a second surgical site. The most common harvest sites for autologous graft are the iliac crest (pelvic bone), the proximal tibia (shin bone), and the calcaneus (ankle bone).

Orthopedic surgeons consider autologous graft to be the “gold standard” meaning it is the best alternative for grafting. It is the standard of care because it provides both the bulk needed to fill voids in bone, as well as live cells that are essential for regeneration of the tissue at the graft site. Unfortunately, the additional surgery to harvest the graft brings with it potential for complications (such as infection of the graft site), which often leads surgeons to choose alternatives such as allograft (see below) or synthetic bone substitutes.

CellBank’s service makes the gold standard grafting alternative available for patients and surgeons without the need for the additional surgery or the risk of surgical complications.

Allograft bone is human cadaveric bone that has been processed and sterilized for use as a substitute for autologous bone graft. While allograft provides the volume and structure needed in most grafting situations, it lacks the viable cells that are needed to stimulate the tissue regeneration at the graft site. A majority of surgeons currently use this substance when autologous graft is not readily available.

Synthetic bone graft substitutes are manufactured materials that replace bone (either autologous or allograft) to provide a structural matrix for bone grafting situations. These substitutes are typically calcium phosphate or calcium sulfate formulations that are reabsorbed over time after surgical implantation. Such substitutes can be used alone or in combination with other materials. While these synthetic materials can provide bulk to fill a void in bone, on their own they lack any ability to encourage tissue regeneration. Synthetic bone graft substitutes are sometimes used in orthopedic surgeries instead of autologous (your own) tissue, which is the gold standard.

Procedures that May Utilize Bone Graft

  • Spine Fusion 
  • Revision Total Hip Replacement 
  • Revision Total Knee Replacement
  • Foot/Ankle Fusion 
  • Fracture Repair
  • Fracture Non-Union 
  • Oral-Maxillofacial Reconstruction 
  • Dental Implant