The modern American medical industry is a large one, and today’s doctors, physicians, and nurses can handle a massive variety of medical issues for their patients. This includes caring for a patient’s skeleton, and sometimes, a patient’s very bones will need treatment. Bones can be easy to take for granted, but injury, cancer, or disease can damage bone tissue. So, the patient will need bone grafts done on them, and modern bone graft delivery is easy and safe for the surgeons to perform. How? A universal graft gun or other modern bone graft delivery systems can make a bone graft delivery quite simple to do. Bone graft surgery may be done for a variety of reasons, and the patient may have their own preferences on how the procedure is completed. Let us review why patients may need bone graft delivery done, and where the new bone tissue might come from.
Today’s medical device industry is a robust one, and around 356,000 Americans are employed in the medical device industry. In fact, this makes up 40% of the entire world’s medical device market, with the American market having a value of $140 billion or so. This certainly includes bone graft delivery devices, which make bone grafting safer and more efficient than ever.
A 16-year study was recently completed, which tracked over two million bone graft patients. What did the number show? Some 83% of bone grafts done in that time frame involved autogenous bone graft material harvested from the patient’ body, and 17% of surgeries involved artificial substitutes. But trends during that study suggest taht more and more patients are opting for bone graft substitutes. Either way, surgeons are ready to help.
As for why a patient may need a bone graft, four particularly common reasons have been identified. In some cases, a patient has suffered multiple bone fractures that are not healing correctly, and thus they need a graft. Or, a patient needs bone matter to heal across a damaged joint, or bone grafts can be done to aid in bone regeneration after injury or disease. Fourth, a patient may get a bone graft done to heal bones after medical devices have been implanted, such as joint replacements.
Where will the grafted bone matter come from? The two most common models are autograft transplants, and allografts. A patient may have a preference on which source is used.
Autografts are done when living bone matter from the patient’s own body is used for the surgery, and the bone is taken from areas such as the jawbone, or anywhere else where bone loss will not cause a medical issue later on. This means that the body will not reject the bone tissue, since it’s not foreign, and the bone matter is alive and the blood types match. Or perhaps there is no allograft material available to use. Still, harvesting bone tissue from the patient’s body means additional surgery, which comes with inherent risks.
Allografts, by comparison, mean using bone tissue from a donor, who might even be deceased. Many Americans give written permission for their bones to be used this way after they die, and the bone matter is tested first to check for disease or other issues. Should the bone matter prove clean, the bones are put in cold storage until needed. Allograft bone is not alive and thus does not produce blood cells, so matching blood types is not necessary for the patient. And in some cases, the allograft comes from a live patient in the hospital, such as from someone who just had a limb amputated (as just one example). Matching blood types will probably be necessary, in this case.
In the days leading up to bone graft surgery, the patient will be told how to prepare themselves, such as restricting their eating and drinking. And after the grafting is done, the surgeons may use threads, screws, and plates to hold the new bone tissue in place while the patient recovers.