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Bone grafting is a safe surgical procedure to repair damaged bones almost anywhere in your body. In a bone graft, your orthopedic surgeon transplants a piece of bone from your hips, legs or ribs, or from a donor or cadaver, into the area where your damaged bone needs to heal, so that it fuses with the rest of that bone.
Bones heal naturally as soon as a bone breaks and the bone cells kick into action, but if a fracture results in bone loss, the bone can’t heal completely. The best solution is a bone graft, where the cells inside the transplanted piece of bone can fuse themselves to the existing bone exactly where needed and promote bone growth.
If you’ve suffered serious bone damage from a fracture or disease and need a bone graft, make an appointment with a UCHealth orthopedic specialist so we can begin the process of complete healing. We specialize in bone grafts and will work closely with you on the best treatment plan for your situation.
Bone grafting promotes bone healing and growth for a variety of conditions, including:
As part of your personalized plan, your orthopedic surgeon will help you decide if you want to use a bone from a donor or a bone from elsewhere in your body. Using your own bone means you will have surgery on that part of your body as well as the bone being treated. Donated bone has some small risks, which your surgeon will discuss with you.
Bone grafting procedures are open surgery, so you will be put under general anesthesia for the procedure. Depending on the procedure and your condition, you might be able to return home the same day. You’ll know what to expect after your surgery to help your bone graft heal, which may include:
If you follow your treatment plan carefully, you will have the best chance at healthy bone tissue and full recovery in the spot of the transplanted bone. Healing time depends on the type of bone graft—a minor procedure may take a few weeks, while a major graft may take six months to a year to fully heal.