A bone graft is the harvesting of a small piece of bone from another part of the body to be used in place of other bone that has been lost or damaged. A malformation of the jaw, palate, or other bony structure may be deformed or injured to the extent that a portion of bone needs to be removed or replaced. When this occurs, the doctor may choose to perform a bone graft. A small section of bone is taken from a larger bone somewhere in the body, usually the hip bone, and implanted or grafted on to the bones that have been damaged. The bones will then begin to fuse together creating a solid area of bone tissue much like what was there previous to the injury.
Bone grafts are considered whenever a deformity or abnormality like a cleft palate is present. Birth defects that involve malformation of the bones and skeletal structures in the body can result in a reduced quality of life. Correcting these procedures with bone grafts can provide the patient with a new lease on life. Individuals who have been severely injured may also require bone grafts. Bone grafts can be performed throughout the body and can be used to correct any number of physical abnormalities. From replacing a damaged jaw bone to repairing a cleft palate, bone grafts can help to restore proper form and function to various parts of the body.
Bone grafts may take slightly longer than other bone injuries to heal. A bone that is broken or cracked normally takes between six to eight weeks to heal. A clean break where the bone is broken into two separate pieces will take approximately about the same period of time once it has been properly realigned and set. Because a bone graft requires a surgical procedure in another part of the body. Both areas will need sufficient time to heal. The area from which the bone graft was taken should heal rather quickly, while the area where the bone graft is introduced may take up to two months or longer to actually fuse sufficiently into place.
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