Tissue Recipients

Understanding Allografts:
What They are and the Role They’ll Play in Your Surgery

You have a surgery coming up...and your doctor will be using an allograft in your procedure. What is an allograft? An allograft is a bone, ligament, cartilage, tendon or section of skin that is transplanted from one
person to another.

Every year in the United States, doctors use more than a million allografts to help…

• athletes who need knee reconstruction
• people suffering from back pain
• cancer patients who need tumor surgery

These are just a few examples. Surgeons have used allografts successfully—in all kinds of procedures—for decades. Allografts have improved millions of people’s lives. Your doctor thinks an allograft is a good choice for you, too.

Where do allografts come from? Allografts come from donors—people who died in accidents or from sudden illnesses. Many times, just one donor’s gift can help a lot of people.

Donating tissue is a wonderful thing for someone to do. But it’s also important for you to know that not every donor is accepted. The bones, cartilage, tendons, skin and ligaments they donate need to be healthy.

So, every donor is carefully screened by medical professionals. If the donor’s tissue is suitable, it is cleaned, processed and tested for sterility before it is sent to your doctor.

Can my doctor use my own tissue for my surgery? Yes, but many doctors prefer to use donated tissue (allografts). When a doctor uses your own tissue (called an autograft), it has to come from another part of your body, which usually means a second surgical site and possibly more pain and recovery time.

Allografts are available, safe, and ready to use. There’s no need for a second surgery, so your recovery and healing will be easier.

Your allograft will come from the Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation (MTF)—the largest tissue bank in the country. MTF is a non-profit organization and is highly respected in the medical community. Your doctor chose MTF because of our strong reputation and the quality and safety of our allografts.

Are MTF allografts safe? Yes. Since 1987, MTF has provided more than 7 million allografts from over 115,000 donors. MTF has an exceptional safety record because we are directed by surgeons from world-renowned hospitals, universities and medical institutions. These surgeons set MTF’s high standards and oversee which donors are accepted.

Want to know more? If you have more questions about allografts, ask your doctor or call 1.800.433.6576.