According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are 38,600 surgeons working in the United States today. These surgeons deal with all types of surgeries to various parts of the body. As medical technology advances, one surgery or procedure that is becoming more and more common is bone grafting.
Every day it seems there are new advances in bone grafting, from bone graft harvesting systems to scaffold bone grafts.
Bone grafting involves using natural or synthetic materials to encourage your body to grow new bone. The four most common reasons people receive bone grafts are:
- Multiple fractures that don’t heal properly. Typically bone fractures heal in two to 10 weeks.
- Fusion to help two bones heal across a damaged joint.
- Bone regeneration following disease or injury.
- For healing bones following the implantation of medical devices like joint replacements.
When it comes to bone grafting, there are many different types especially for dental work, which include:
- Autografts: This is also called an autologous bone graft and is a bone taken directly from a patient’s body. The benefit of this type of graft is that there’s a low risk of graft rejection because the bone is being taken directly from the person who it’s being graft too. This type of graft is usually done with bone from the jaw or chin and requires an additional surgical site.
A 16-year study of two million bone graft patients found that 83 percent of bone grafts involve autogenous grafts while 17 percent involved bone graft substitutes.
- Allografts: These grafts are usually harvested from deceased people. That means before anything is harvested, the donor has to be screened. If it’s deemed usable, bone taken from the deceased must go through treatments to make it compatible with the person for who it is intended and to minimize risk of an immune reaction. Since it is not native to a living person, these grafts have potential for rejection of donated tissue of an immune reaction.
- Xenografts: These are taken from animals and the bone is processed so the tissue is made up of minerals. Xenografts can help improve compatibility and once new bone starts to grow it eventually replaces the xenograft.
- Alloplastic Grafts: These grafts can be natural (made from elements or minerals) or synthetic (man-made) materials. Since they don’t require a natural compatibility with a body’s tissue, they are the preferred method of grafting for some dentists.
A 16-year study of two million bone graft patients found that there is a trend from traditional bone graft to bone graft substitutes in the United States. These can be made to be durable and long-lasting and are made of bioglass, ceramics and polymers among other materials.
As bone grafting and other grafting processes become more common, companies like Aziyo are committed to regenerative medicine and advances such as graft delivery, including bone graft delivery and a graft delivery system.
Advances like ViBone, allow companies like Aziyo to provide surgeons with better options for bone repair. ViBone is an allograft, used by Aziyo, that performs much like an autograft and aims to protect tissue environment.
To learn more about Aziyo and its bone grafting advances, visit the company web site.