Trends in bone graft use in the United States

Orthopedics. 2014 Sep;37(9):e783-8. doi: 10.3928/01477447-20140825-54.


Bone graft and bone graft substitutes are used to provide structural support and enhance bone healing. Autogenous, allogeneic, and artificial bone grafts each have advantages and drawbacks. The development of allografts, synthetic bone grafts, and new operative techniques may have influenced the use of bone grafts in recent years. The goal of this study was to analyze the use of bone grafts and bone graft substitutes in the United States during a 16-year period. Using data from the National Hospital Discharge Survey, the authors analyzed the use of autogenous and artificial bone grafts in almost 2 million patients in the United States between 1992 and 2007 using International Classification of Diseases, 9th Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-9-CM) codes in 4 periods (1992-1995, 1996-1999, 2000-2003, and 2004-2007). Among an estimated almost 2 million bone graft procedures (83% autogenous, 17% artificial), the use of both types of grafts decreased. The main diagnoses for which bone grafts were used did not change; however, cervical spine diseases and lower-limb fractures decreased more remarkably. Although sex (52% male in the early 1990s to 47% in 2000-2003) and discharge status (more discharges to a short-term or long-term-care facility) significantly changed, age increased from 47 to 53 years and inpatient days decreased significantly from 6 to 5 days during the study period. The use of bone grafts and bone graft substitutes is decreasing in the United States, with a slight shift from autogenous to substitute grafts.

MeSH terms

  • Bone Substitutes / therapeutic use*
  • Bone Transplantation / trends*
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Humans
  • Transplants
  • United States


  • Bone Substitutes