Spinal fusion is a common operation performed in the cervical or lumbar spine. Painful bones in the spine are fused together so that they heal into a single bone, providing stability and diminishing pain.

Iliac Crest Bone Graft – Bone graft may be harvested from the pelvis of the patient as the surgery is being carried out.

Local Bone Graft:  When spinal surgery is being performed, the bone that is necessarily removed to do a decompression is meticulously saved.  The bone is stored and all soft tissue removed. The bone is primarily reused. It is collected from an area where a decompression is carried out and placed in the area that the surgeon wants to fuse.

Cadaver or Allograft Bone: Surgeons use bone that is legally harvested from a donor or cadaver. The bone undergoes testing and processing.  This type of graft—an allograft—is usually acquired through a bone bank. Like other organs, bone can be donated upon death.

Synthetic Bone Graft  Synthetic bone grafts are made up of calcium, materials and are called “ceramics.” This synthetic bone is plentifully available.

Dr. Ken Hansraj Chief of Spine Surgery New York Spine Surgery & Rehabilitation Medicine