A Natural Approach To Health
Living With a Bone Graft
I had a question the other day about a bone graft.
A bone graft is a surgical procedure used to fix problems with bones or joints.
Bone grafting is beneficial in fixing bones after trauma, problem joints, or growing bone around implanted devices, like a total knee replacement.
The bone used in a bone graft can come from your own body, from a donor, or could be entirely manmade.
The bone graft provides a framework where new, living bone can grow.
The two most common types of bone grafts are:
>Allograft: This graft uses bone from a deceased donor or a cadaver that’s been cleaned and stored in a tissue bank
>Autograft: Graft made from a bone inside your body, like your ribs or hips
The type of graft used depends on the type of injury being repaired.
Allografts are commonly used in hip, knee, arm or leg reconstruction.
The advantages are (a) there’s no additional surgery needed to get the bone, and (b) it lowers the risk of infection since additional incisions or surgery won’t be needed.
Bone grafting is done for many reasons, including injury and disease.
There are 4 main reasons bone grafts are used:
1. Fractures—a bone graft may be used in the case of multiple or complex fractures or those that don’t heal well after an initial treatment
2. Fusion—most often done in the spine, fusion helps two bones heal together across a diseased joint
3. Regeneration—used for bone lost to disease, infection, or injury, this can involve using small amounts in bone cavities or large sections of bones
4. Implanted devices—a graft can be used to help bone heal around surgically implanted devices, like joint replacements, plates, or screws
Recovery from bone grafts depends on the size of the graft and other variables.
Typical recovery can take anywhere from 2 weeks to 3 months.
You’ll probably need to avoid vigorous physical activity for up to 6 months.
Immediately after surgery, icing and elevating the area involved in the grafting can help prevent painful inflammation.
Even if your injury is in a cast, putting ice bags over the cast can help.
During recovery, you should exercise those muscle groups not affected by the surgery to keep your body in good shape.
You should also maintain a healthy diet, which will aid in the recovery process.
One of the best decisions you can make—to help your body after surgery and overall—is to quit smoking.
Smoking slows down the healing and growth of bone.
Research has shown bone grafts fail at a higher rate with smokers.
To deal with a bone graft it’s beneficial to:
*Increase weight-bearing exercises
*Lose weight to take some pressure off your joints; you can follow my weight loss blog at blog.dickandlenay.com.
*Eat calcium-rich foods.
*Take natural supplements.
*Get plenty of vitamin D.
*Eat fresh (not canned) pineapple and/or papaya because they contain enzymes that reduce inflammation.
*Explore the use of Arnica (homeopathic remedy).
*Consider Horsetail (herb) tea or extract.
*Eliminate acid-forming food and drinks (coffee, soda pop, dairy, red meat, processed foods, sugar, white flour products)