The biology of fracture healing is better understood than ever before, with advancements such as the locking screw leading to more predictable and less eventful osseous healing. However, at times one's intrinsic biological response, and even concurrent surgical stabilization, is inadequate. In hopes of facilitating osseous union, bone grafts, bone substitutes and orthobiologics are being relied on more than ever before. The osteoinductive, osteoconductive and osteogenic properties of these substrates have been elucidated in the basic science literature and validated in clinical orthopaedic practice. Furthermore, an industry built around these items is more successful and in demand than ever before. This review provides a comprehensive overview of the basic science, clinical utility and economics of bone grafts, bone substitutes and orthobiologics.