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Stupid Question on Donor Bone

edited 06/11/2012 - 7:52 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I have seen posts that people reference "thanking their donors" for the bone grafts. How do you find out who to thank? I never even would have thought about it. I am scheduled for ACDF c5-6 and c6-7 in less than two weeks. They will be using donor bone as my surgeon does not want to disturb my hip as I already have nerve damage down there.

This is ok with me as I didn't want to recover from two procedures at the same time. Been there done that and it's no fun.

Regards, sue


  • Sue,

    If you get an answer, I too would be interested to know. My surgeon of course told me my 'graph' would be from "donor bone", but that was all...he didn't even specify if it was from one person or what? I just know it was bone ground up and put in a cage???

    I've been down the road 2 times so far, so I am curious. Thanks for bringing up such an interesting point. :)

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • I am ashamed to say that I never even thought about who was donating the bone for my surgery. :( That is terrible! It was always referred to me as "cadaver bone" and I didn't personalize it as I might have with an organ or something else "living". I had C5 to C7 fused as well!
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  • Honeys...

    See, me too! I was told "donor bone" or from a "cadaver" so didn't think anything of it from there. Weird. It's not like an organ transplant, right?

    I was told it was "from cadavers, and fully eradiated"(sp) and put in - no rejection issues to worry about. Sigh. (G)

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • You might not be able to find out, as some of those may come from people who have just donated their bodies to medical science. I had a family member whom that is what they wanted done with their body and we never heard anything as to what was done. But some patients think they are getting cadaver bone and in actuality when they ground up what they move it becomes the bone. So cadaver bone doesn't even get used, in those situations.
  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
    They did tell me it was usually from the knee area. I find that I really don't like to think about it for some reason...anyone else feel like that?

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  • I posted a couple of months ago about my experience with donor bone for I, too, had sort of just depersonalized it. While I was in the hospital recovering from the surgery, staff brought to me the labels from three different vials indicating I had three donors. The names were not given, just an id number and the name of the lab that supplies the bone for surgeries. Along with the labels was a paper from the lab suggesting writing a thank you letter to the families of the donor bone. I wrote the letters after I got home and mailed them with the id labels to the laboratory. The lab said sometimes one gets a response and sometimes not. I did not get a response.
    I had not thought about the donor of the bone at all. It really blew me away for I had to stop and think that somebody or some family made the decision to donate bone and I indeed wanted to thank them.
  • Thanks for the responses. No one should feel shameful for not thinking about it. I was also told it was highly processed. I am thankful for the technology and the donor program for which I happily signed my drivers license.

    Good to know that perhaps some part of me can be used.
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