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How long do bone grafts last?
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How long do bone grafts last?

In 2003 I was in a head on collision (MVA), I crushed my tib/fib and broke my knee cap in 3 places, I was told I basically had an internal amputation.  I had several surgeries and initially had two plates 9 screws (tib/fib) and several screws and wires in my knee cap.  In 2005 I had to have the plate on my tibia removed because a screw had broken off and the plate was causing me chronic pain.  It was then that a bone graft was used for non union of the tibia (a bone stimulator was used before bone grafting but didn't help).  After a few weeks I had to go back and have the bone graft removed, the bone scraped and another bone graft placed due to infection.  I have limited motion in my ankle (after months of PT), chronic pain and have hammer toes because I wasn't able to move them for 5 months when I had my external fixater on.  I was on crutches for almost 1.5 years and finally went back to work in 2005 but it's 2009 and I still have chronic pain in my ankle expecially where the bone graft is.  How long do bone grafts last?  I am so frustrated because after having so many problems with my ankle the doctor that did my bone graft surgery basically told me that if I had anymore problems to go to my family doctor and if it was bad enough I could go back to him.  
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Avatar_dr_m_tn
Hello!

A graft is a living tissue to help the healing due to the injury you had.
As the graft is from your own body it will not create any big issues of immunity. The graft will be taken up by the new area and will be part of the tibia bone. There is no necessary to remove the graft, it is permanent if your body grows with it, as you had infections previously it has to be removed.
Infection is the primary problem with any orthopedic surgery.

Take care!
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