Bone grafting is a surgical procedure that replaces missing bone. They are placed in order to repair bone fractures that are extremely complex, pose a significant health risk to the patient, or fail to heal properly. They are often used to ensure the success of an implant placement.
Bone generally has the ability to regenerate completely but requires a very small fracture space or some sort of scaffold to do so. Bone grafts may be autologous (bone harvested from the patient’s own body, often from the iliac crest), allograft (cadaveric bone usually obtained from a bone bank), or synthetic (often made of hydroxyapatite or other naturally occurring and biocompatible substances) with similar mechanical properties to bone. Most bone grafts are expected to be reabsorbed and replaced as the natural bone heals over a few months’ time.