A bone graft is the bone transplanted from a donor site to a recipient site to facilitate the fusion of vertebrae in lumbar surgery. The grafting tissue is necessary for osteoinduction - the process of building new bone - to occur.
During spinal fusion surgery, the bone graft is placed into the disc space or in other places between the two vertebrae - and acts as a calcium scaffolding for the patient’s new bone to grow on.
Tissue can either be harvested from the patient’s iliac crest (part of the pelvis), called autograft bone, or from a donor bone (e.g. cadaver bone), called allograft bone, or some type of bone graft substitute (synthetic bone) may be used.