What is an Allograft?
Tissues transplanted from one person to another are called allografts. Allograft tissue comes from a deceased donor who has either consented to donation through a donor registry prior to his or her death, or whose family has made the decision to honor the donor’s wish to help someone in need.
Approximately 1,500,000 allografts are transplanted each year for a variety of life-saving and life-enhancing surgeries: bone grafts for patients whose bones have degenerated from cancer, cornea transplants to help restore sight, heart valves to replace damaged heart tissue, skin grafts to save the lives of burn victims, and tendon, meniscus and soft tissue replacements to help people lead more active lives. One tissue donor can save or improve the lives of up to 60 people. Currently, there are nearly 36 million Americans with debilitating musculoskeletal conditions who might benefit from an allograft.
While tissue transplantation is a fairly common procedure used to treat trauma, sports and age-related injuries, the number of procedures is limited by the availability of donor tissue. Generous donors who make the choice to donate the gift of tissue provide renewed possibilities for the tens of thousands of patients who receive an allograft transplant each year.