Devices for graft delivery are an important device used throughout the world for bone grafting. Here is an overview of bone graft delivery devices, as well as, the main purposes of bone grafting.
What is a bone graft?
Bone grafting is a procedure that transplants bone tissue to areas that have suffered trauma or are prone to joint problems. It can also be beneficial towards accelerating bone growth around implants, such as knee replacements, where the bone can be fractured or otherwise weakened. The bone used can be from the patient’s body, a donor, or synthetically constructed. It provides a support where new growth can flourish, provided the grafting is accepted by the patient’s body.
In a standard procedure a bone is is implanted into the area and it provided a base on which new growth can occur. While the treatment can be done in open surgery, it can also be accomplished with minimally invasive techniques, devices for graft delivery are implemented to inject the material into the designated site.
Types of Grafts
The most commonly found types of grafts are:
- Allograft. This method uses bone from a donor cadaver that has been specially stored at a tissue bank for use in future procedures.
- Autograft. The material comes directly from the patient’s body, usually from either the ribs, pelvis, or wrist.
The type of graft received is dependent upon the type of injury that is being repaired. Allografts are used mainly in knee and hip reconstructions, in addition to the repair of longer bones either in the arm or leg. This is advantageous due to the need of no additional surgery needed on the patients to get acquire the material. This can also help reduce the change of infection, as there will be no additional site that need monitoring. And, since the allograft bone material contains no living cells, there is a much lower change of rejection once implanted into the body.
Graft Delivery Systems
Devices for graft delivery usually are consisted of a long tube, an injector tip, and an handle with a dispersal trigger. The injector tip has one or multiple openings that are designed to deliver material to the specified location with the most accuracy possible. The are a few varying designs when it comes to these devices, but this is the most basic set up on the market.
Why Bone Grafting is Needed
Grafting can be done in the case of injury or disease, but there are 4 common uses the procedure is undertaken.
- To treat a multiple or complex fracture that has failed to heal properly after primary treatment.
- Commonly used on the spine, bone grafting can be used to help fuse two bones across a weakened or diseased joint.
- Used to strengthen bones and joints that have been weakened due to illness, injury, or infection.
- Help strengthen and accelerate healing around implanted artificial devices, such as joint replacements.
How a Bone graft is Performed
The procedure is commonly performed with the patient under general anesthesia. The surgeon then starts by making an incision where the graft is to be implemented. The bone is then shaped to fit the area, once implanted is held securely in place by either pins, screws, wires, or plates, depending on the type of bone and location. Once the implantation is finished, stitches are applied to seal the incision, and a cast may be used to support the new bone while healing takes place; however, many times even this is unnecessary.
Devices for graft delivery are an important tool to being able to accomplish the correct results in any bone grafting procedure. The treatment itself can be relatively noninvasive, with recovery lasting anywhere from a few weeks to a year depending on the extent of the replacement. Bone grafting is a necessary medical treatment that is used to better the lives of thousands of people, and it is definitely something worth considering for weakened or damaged bones.