What Is An Autograft?

An autograft is the transplantation of bone, organs or tissues from one part of the body to another. In other words, the donor and the recipient are the same person, as opposed to an allograft, in which the tissue donor and the tissue recipient are two different people. Since a spinal fusion surgery requires a bone graft, patients choose to have either an allograft or an autograft.

When is an autograft needed?

There are risks and benefits associated with both an autograft and allograft. Naturally, bone harvested from the patient’s own body will have a better chance of being accepted by the body, but there are several circumstances that might prevent the patient from being able to use their own bone, including:

  • If the patient has osteoporosis, which is a condition that severely lowers bone density
  • If the patient is a smoker, his or her bones are likely to be more brittle than those of a non-smoker
  • If the patient is elderly or too unwell to undergo the additional trauma of a bone harvesting operation

Alternative treatment options

If you feel like the trauma and risks of a traditional open spine surgery, whether using an allograft or an autograft, outweigh the possible benefits of the procedure, you may want to consider alternative treatment options. Laser Spine Institute offers a variety of minimally invasive, outpatient procedures that have helped tens of thousands of people find relief from neck and back pain. Contact us today for your MRI review to find out more about our effective techniques that offer greatly expedited recovery periods compared to traditional open spine surgery.