FAQs|Common Myths|Questions to Ask Your Doctor


What is an allograft?

An allograft is tissue taken from one person for transplantation into another after it has been processed.

Where does the tissue come from?

Before death, a person may have consented to donate his or her tissue to enhance the quality of life for others.

What are the benefits of allografts?

Allografts are a natural alternative to synthetic and metal implants. However, unlike synthetic or metal implants, allografts should incorporate into your body.

How safe are allografts?

Tissue banks that provide allograft tissue are required by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to carefully screen all donors for infectious diseases and medical conditions that would rule out donation.

Why is sterilization important?

Not all companies that provide surgeons with allograft tissue process tissue in a manner that addresses the risk of donor-to-recipient disease transmission.

What is a tissue bank?

A tissue bank is an organization that recovers human donated tissue after a person has died and authorization has been obtained for the donation.


Myth: I could get a disease such as HIV or cancer from donated tissue.

Reality: Allografts have been used successfully in various medical procedures for more than 150 years. About one million allografts are transplanted each year in the United States.

Myth: Allograft tissue wouldn’t work as well as my own tissue (autograft).

Reality: Allograft tendons have certain benefits for some procedures. They can eliminate the need for a second surgery site, avoiding additional pain, risk and possibly a longer hospital stay. The patient's body recognizes the implant as human tissue and begins laying the patient's own new tissue cells over it.

Myth: Tissue is taken from a human donor without the donor’s consent or donor family’s authorization.

Reality: Legal authorization is required before recovery takes place. Tissue banks require staff to give each family the opportunity to ask for more information throughout the interview process and to give a phone number and contact person should the family want additional information at a later date.

Myth: The tissue banking industry is unregulated.

Reality: Under federal law, all U.S. establishments dealing with recovery, processing and distribution of donated human tissue must be registered with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and must adhere to FDA regulations. Registered tissue banks are subject to inspections by the FDA.

Myth: There is no way to trace which allograft implants came from which human donor.

Reality: Each tissue donor is assigned a unique identifier that is used to trace the tissue and associated laboratory specimens through every stage of screening, testing and processing.

Myth: My body might reject allograft tissue since it’s not my own.

Reality: Most processors take steps to remove all blood and other organisms from the tissue, so there is nothing left that would cause rejection. The allograft is a clean, natural scaffold that allows for remodeling with the patient’s own tissue.

Questions to Ask Your Doctor

What are the risks associated with my surgery?

What are the benefits associated with my surgery?

How long will I be in surgery?

What type of rehabilitation protocol is recommended?

Is it possible to use an allograft implant for my surgery?

Can I choose to have an allograft implant for my surgery?

What are the benefits of using an allograft implant?

What are the risks of using an allograft implant?

What is my financial responsibility for the surgery?

Will I be able to return to full activity/sports?

If I get injured again, can it be repaired?

How are allografts screened to ensure my safety?

Which company processed my allograft implant?

What are the differences between the choices of allograft providers?

Are your allografts screened, tested and aseptically processed to ensure my safety?

How is the allograft implant sterilized?

Where can I get more information?