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Bone Graft

Alternate Names

  • bone grafting


A bone graft is a surgery performed to place new bone into spaces between or around abnormal bones.

Who is a candidate for the procedure?

Bone grafts are commonly used to:
  • fuse a bone to prevent movement, such as a spinal fusion
  • help abnormally formed bones, or birth defects involving bone, to develop in a healthy manner
  • help realign bone fractures, or broken bones, that have not healed well
  • repair a bone that fails to heal
  • replace bone cut out during surgery, such as when a bone tumor is removed

How is the procedure performed?

A bone graft is most often done under general anesthesia. This means the person is put to sleep with medicines, has no awareness of the operation and feels no pain.
If the bone for the graft is going to be taken from the person, it is usually removed from the top of the hipbone or the ribs. Otherwise, the bone is obtained from a bone bank, which stores donor bones.
A cut is made over the affected bone, and the bone defect or fracture is located. The bone to be grafted is shaped to fit the affected area. The skin is closed with sutures or staples. If the bone graft was on an arm or leg, a splint or cast may be applied.


Lehman, Daniel and Rougraff, Bruce "Recent Advances in Bone Grafting" [hyperLink url="" linkTitle=""][/hyperLink]

Complete Guide to Symptoms, Illness&Surgery by H. Winter Griffith, M.D. (c) 1995 The Putnam Berkley Group, Inc.

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