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Most children heal their bones and ligaments (soft tissues that connect bones together) very well. At times, extra bone and soft tissues are needed to help with healing.
Autograft comes from your own body only. Meaning if you have a fracture in your leg, we may take bone in your pelvis and put that bone into your leg to help your leg heal better. Or if you have a spine surgery, your surgeon may remove bone from your spine to straighten the curve, and then put that same bone right back into your back to help your spine to stay straight; all of these types of techniques are using autograft.
Allograft does not come from your body, but is taken from a donor, after being medically cleaned and sterilized. Allograft is used if your bone is not strong enough or if the quantity of your own body is not great enough to suit the needs of your surgeon.
Bone Graft Substitute is made of bone building materials from a laboratory. Often, your surgeon may use these bone graft substitutes to help support your bone and/or help it to heal.
Which one of the options your surgeon chooses depends on a number of factors, and your pediatric orthopaedic surgeon can discuss the risks and benefits of each option.