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Bone Grafts And Substitutes: Key Applications, Types, & Significance
Published Date: 26 Apr 2022

Bone Graft is an alternate solution & a surgical procedure that transplants bone to repair & rebuild the affected bones. This procedure offers repairs for almost all types of bones in the body using the bones of the hips, legs, or ribs to perform the graft.

In fact, these grafts can be procured from living donors, post-mortem donors, or artificially constructed bones for healing, improving, & strengthening the bone function after the injury.

There are different applications like Craniomaxillofacial, Spinal Fusion, Foot & Ankle, Dental, & Joint Reconstruction, among others. Among these, the most common grafts include dental implants for the restoration of the edentulous area of a missing tooth. The second applications include Spinal fusion due to the favorable characteristics of bone graft substitutes like bone graft extenders, particularly for posterolateral spinal fusion.

With the rapidly increasing cases of bone & joint disorders, the prevalence of orthopedic trauma & osteoarthritis, the demand for constant development & advancements in bone grafts & substitutes is escalating swiftly. It, in turn, is instigating the governments of different counties to initiate several research & development activities for the introduction & launch of biocompatible synthetic grafts to reduce adverse reactions in bones.

Moreover, the exponential expansion of the geriatric population, mounting inclination toward minimally invasive surgeries, and the growing awareness among patients about the benefits of bone regeneration through biologics are the other factors propelling the demand for Bone Grafts & Substitutes globally. Therefore, observing these aspects, it can be said that the Global Bone Grafts & Substitutes Market is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of around 5.6% and generate growth opportunities for the leading players during the forecast period of 2022-27.

Who needs Bone Grafts & Substitutes?

Bone grafting is required if, after a fracture, bones don't heal correctly, and there are the following symptoms:

  • Delayed Union: Slower than expected bone healing
  • Malunion: Bone healing in an abnormal position
  • Nonunion: No bone healing at all

Below-cited are a few other reasons you might opt for bone grafting:

  • Spinal fusion
  • Bone diseases like osteonecrosis and cancer.
  • Bone infection
  • Congenital anomalies (uneven limbs or abnormally small chin)
  • Jaw reinforcement before receiving a tooth implant.
  • Joint replacement surgery

Different Types of Materials Used as Bone Grafts & Substitutes

  1. Autograft

An Autograft uses a sample of your bone tissue, which usually comes from the top of your hip bone through an incision. Using your own tissue is beneficial as it increases the chances of successful healing (fusion). However, only a limited amount of bone tissue can be taken, and you might experience pain at the incision site.

  1. Allograft

It uses bone tissue of another person, the donor. There are strict regulations on how tissues are handled, cleaned, & sterilized to ensure the recipient's safety. Allograft is usually applied in spinal fusion surgeries, where it provides a framework for the healthy bone tissue to grow.

  1. Synthetic

Synthetic bone substitutes involve materials made artificially from different porous substances, and some might also have proteins that promote bone development. They are considered a great alternative to using your own bone and worthwhile to those who have experienced trauma to tissues.

  1. Xenograft

A xenograft is the processed tissue obtained from an animal, generally a pig or cow. Most of this tissue is easily available to treat more & more areas of recession at once. However, since it is non-living tissue, it leads to slower healing.

Rising Popularity of Bone Grafts & Substitutes for Spinal Fusion & Dental Implants

  • Spinal Infusion

Spinal fusion involves the formation of a solid bridge between two vertebral segments in the spine to stop the movement in that section, for which bone grafts & substitutes are required that provide the foundation to allow the body to grow new bone and fuse a section of the spine together into one long bone.

Initially, for the first few months, screws & rods are used for providing stability to that section of the spine. However, a solid fusion of bone that has healed together provides the long-term stability.

Nowadays, there's a burgeoning adoption of bone graft materials for spondylosyndesis. Moreover, the growing geriatric population worldwide, i.e., prone to orthopedic ailments, is also pushing the need for corrective surgical treatment and thus leading to the rising popularity of bone grafts for spinal fusion surgeries.

  • Dental Implants

In dental procedures, grafts are used mainly as a scaffold & filler to promote bone formation & healing. There is a growing acceptance among people for dental implant surgical procedures and advanced techniques like bone regeneration & bone grafts worldwide, owing prominently to the increasing success rates of dental implants.

Dental bone grafts provide adequate bone material to sustain dental implants and help control long-term health issues related to gum diseases or tooth loss. The use of grafts for dental procedures is usually considered safe & well-tolerated. However, the chances of post-surgery side effects & complications can be minimized through the doctor’s guidance during recovery, which can further help maintain good dental health in the years ahead.


A majority of current bone regeneration strategies display fairly acceptable outcomes. However, there are some flaws and restrictions to their application & availability, along with controversial reports about their effectiveness & cost-efficiency. Furthermore, no heterologous or synthetic bone substitutes are available presently that exhibit exceptional or even the same characteristics compared with bone.

As a result, to overcome these challenges, there is a growing need for developing novel methods as alternatives to the standard bone regeneration methods, which, in turn, projects remunerative prospects for the Global Bone Grafts & Substitutes Market over the coming years. Rigorous R&D activities ongoing within all relevant fields indicate successful treatment of many bone-disease processes through novel bone-regeneration methods that are likely to be developed in the future.

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