Patients need not be afraid of receiving musculoskeletal allograft tissue transplants, but doctors have a responsibility to seek grafts from tissue banks that follow best known practices, such as those accredited by the American Association of Tissue Banks (AATB), said Gary E. Friedlaender, MD, at a Thursday afternoon media briefing on the topic of allograft safety.
“The risks from allografts are low and the benefits are impressively high,” said Dr. Friedlaender, chair of the department of orthopaedics and rehabilitation at the Yale University School of Medicine and chair of the AAOS Tissue Banking Project Team. “More than 800,000 grafts are performed in the United States each year, with few complications.”
“Allografts are most frequently used to accomplish bone fusions, improve the quality of bone in revision hip and knee replacement procedures, restore bone lost during injury or following removal of tumors, and promote the healing of fractures,” Dr. Friedlaender, explained.
The use of an allograft eliminates the need for a second surgery site to recover an autograft – a graft taken from the recipient’s own body – as well as the need to sacrifice a normal structure in one place for use in another location.
“This reduces the potential for complications arising from having an additional surgical procedure, and thereby results in less blood loss, less pain and a quicker recovery time,” he added.