A bone graft is a surgical procedure used to fix problems associated with bones or joints. Bone grafting is a common surgical procedure.
The term pseudoarthrosis or non-union is usually applied to fractures which do not consolidate within a period between 6 and 8 months. On the other hand, the term of delayed union indicates fractures which consolidate in a period longer than normal. Bone defects are very challenging in orthopaedic practice; they can result from a high-energy traumatic event, from large bone resection for different pathologies such as tumour or infection, or from the treatment of complex non-unions. They can be considered critical in relation to the skeletal segment involved and the length of bone loss: 3 cm for the forearm, 5 cm in the femur and tibia, 6 cm in the humerus.
The bone used in a bone graft can come from the patient body (autograft), donor (allograft), or could be entirely manmade. Once accepted by the patient, the bone graft provides a framework where new, living bone may grow.
The two most common types of bone grafts are:
· – allograft: this graft uses bone from a deceased donor or a cadaver that has been cleaned and stored in a tissue bank
· – autograft: graft made from a bone inside a patient’s body, such as the ribs or hips
No effective solutions exist today to treat severe conditions that result in extensive bone loss such as trauma, tumors and bone infections.
Quite often patients undergo multiple painful surgery with very long recovery time. Unfortunately, post-traumatic limb amputations among trauma patients are not uncommon.
The economic impact of non-union fracture is extremely relevant both on the healthcare system and the social costs.