Proximal Tibial Bone Graft Harvest

Edited by Judith Smith, MD


Bone graft can be taken from just below the knee (proximal tibia), on the inside or outside part of the upper leg. This involves an incision about an inch in length (2-4 cm). A hole or window is made in the outer hard bone (cortical bone), and then the soft (cancellous) bone is scooped out and placed around the joint or bone that needs to heal. The wound is then closed up. A proximal tibial bone graft harvest is usually performed on the same side that is being operated on so it does not require creating a second sterile area during surgery, such as occurs when an iliac crest bone graft harvest is performed. This procedure does not affect the stability or function of the knee joint, as it is performed below the knee joint itself. Usually the patient's weight-bearing status post surgery is dictated by the fusion or fracture repair surgery that has been performed, and not by the proximal tibial bone graft harvest.

Potential Complications

Potential complications include the usual possible complications associated with surgical procedures, such as:

Specific complications

Specific complications associated with the proximal tibial bone graft harvest are rare but could include:
  • Injury to the knee joint
  • Weakening of the bone which could, in theory, increase the risk of a tibial fracture

Edited on July 3, 2017

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