Bone donation

Bone donation is possible in life and after death. The donation of bone is subject to prior consent for donation. Donation helps enhance the quality of life of multiple recipients.


In patients who receive a hip replacement, the femoral head that is removed during the operation may be donated. The donation of cartilage by patients after surgical correction of their thorax is also possible.


In the case of a deceased person, a check is always made on whether the decision to donate has been recorded in the Donor Register. If consent was given for post-mortem tissue donation, a specialised explantation team will remove the bone and tendon tissue in an operating theatre within 24 hours.

How is donor bone used?

A surgeon uses donated bone tissue in bone defect cases:

  • for hip operations that sometimes require extra bone
  • for the repair of bone fractures
  • for bone tumours where diseased or damaged bone is replaced by healthy donated bone
  • for operative correction and stabilisation of the vertebral column
  • for placing a jaw implant

The surgeon may also use the patient's own bone. Bone will then be removed from the patient's iliac crest but it is not always sufficient. Donated bone tissue donated is a good and safe alternative that is usable for any patient.

During the recovery process the transplanted bone is gradually replaced by new bone formed by the patient’s own body. The transplanted bone is then used as a 'bridge'