Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

Bone stim good or not good POLL :)

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,731
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:24 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi Everyone ;)

I would like to hear everyone's opinions on the bone stim for bone growth after fusion surgery.
I am considering this so I want to hear from ya'all. So pretty much consider this as a POLL question.

How many have used it with awesome results?
How many used it without results?

Thank you!!! O:) O:)


  • I LOVE mine!!!! I've had mine since about 3 weeks after my surgery (Aug 21) and it's cut down my pain considerably. I know most on here only have to wear theirs for a few hours each day, but my dr has me wearing mine 24/7. I've gone from taking a boatload of meds each day to taking maybe one darvocet during the day and something at night to let me sleep without being in pain when I wake up. It took me awhile to get used to having it with me all the time, but it grew on me lol (I even named him and call him my boyfriend LOL). At this point anymore, i'm afraid not to wear it. I know that wearing it is what is cutting my pain down. And I like no pain.

    Another added benefit that I have seen is that i've lost weight as well. Whether it's from the BGS, or if something else in my body got messed up during surgery, but all my pants are looser...alot looser!!! And I haven't been doing too much exercising, only walks to my post office maybe 2 or 3 times a week, so I can't say it's from walking.

    I was lucky enough to not have to pay for mine (my ins wouldnt cover it, my dr wanted me to have it so he gave it to me). For right now, my orders are to wear it till I see him again in December, but I may have to wear it until next June. But I think the benefits from it far outweigh the slight inconvenience of having to have wires attached all the time.
  • Thanks so much for responding :D Now see I just thought it was to help the bone fuse, I did not think once that it would help with pain?? That is news to me. So thankyou for saying that. That helps in my decision. Cause right now I feel like stiff peice of wood in my back that is frozen in time. Of course I am still early out but it would be awesome if I could cut down on my percocets. He wants to start me on Lortabs and I just was not ready.

  • wow . . . doc wanted me to try one but since i started to fuse i do not see the need.

    how does it help with pain? i thought it stimulates bone growth?
  • wow . . . doc wanted me to try one but since i started to fuse i do not see the need.

    how does it help with pain? i thought it stimulates bone growth?
  • What the stimulator does is increase the blood flow to the area by sending out electrical waves. This in turn stimulates the bone growth. How it helps with the pain, im not exactly sure. Could be from the blood vessels expanding? All I know is that from the moment they put it on me at the dr's office the pain started to lesson. As of now, there are many times where I completely forget to take any meds, and the only time I do remember is if i've done too much lol. It is now 5pm, i've been outside sweeping off my porch, digging up some plants to bring in, and I just now took one pill.
  • I am bit confused, I thought there are two kinds of bone stimulators: 1. to help with fusion, 2. to control pain.

    Most people here seem to have an external unit they wear certain hours per day for pain. A few other, myself included, we had a small battery pack inserted under our skin at the time of the fusion surgery, and electrodes connected to battery pack by leads were placed directly over the bone implants to encourage fusion. It is no problem at all, as I ndid not even know I have one until it had shown up on my first x-ray. I can barely feel it (the small battery pack) under my skin with my fingers, but that is all. It must be working, because at my 5-month post-op visit I was almost completely fused. But because I had no pain after surgery at all, now I am wondering if it may have controlled the pain also. Either way, i am thankful to have it. Could be the reason more surgeons don't use it because some insurance companies (or WC) don't want to pay for it?

  • you would have a scs spinal cord stim.
    bone stim is only used to fuse the bone.
    mabye they are one in the same.
    but i do not think the bone stim to help fusing can be implanted as far as i know. only the scs can be.
    don't get me wrong as i do not know that much about them.
    i haven't been on most of the day to do more research.

    my friend has one and was going to send it to me instead of dealing with the insurance company. so thats why i was seeing how ppl responded to them.

    RON OH PAPA BEAR is this what you have that is in chinese instructions??????

    im going to find some more info on it..

    terri >:D< >:D<

  • I have a BGS. I wear it for 30 minutes a day and will need to for 9 months. It does nothing for my pain. It is not meant to relieve pain and that is not a usual effect of it. If anything in the beginning it increased pain cause it straps around my incision. Now it doen't bother me though.

    Brucie, can you feel any form of vibration, etc. from your stimulator? I am wondering if they somehow make one that also functions as a TENS unit. Mine creates an electromagnetic field that is suppose to increase bone growth by 20%. It is totally silent, can't feel anything.

    Terri, I think you should get one. Since you have a history of failed fusion and you are trying to quit smoking, you are a prime candidate for one. Your insurance shouldn't have any grounds to object. Mine was delivered to me while in the hospital, covered by insurance. My only risk factor is I am overweight, but my surgeon gives them to all his fusion patients.

    So far I have some posterior-lateral fusing seen on xray but nothing between the vertebrae yet, but it is early on. Hopefully some fully fused folks will come and post soon.
    >:D< Cali-Sue
  • The only conclusion I can come to with it helping pain wise, if its worn longer then your wearing yours? The more the bone fuses less pain??? That is how I am understanding it.
    Of course just like my neck. Once fully fused I never had pain again.
    So its a possiblitly because brucie wears hers for so long during the day that may contribute to the pain relief.
    What ya think girlfriend?

    Oh yes Im like a HUGE canadite for it. But why go through the insurance company if I can get one for free?? hmmm <:P <:P ;) :$ :$ :$ :$ :$ :$
  • Terri, mine is programmed and will only come on for 30 minutes once a day. If you try to turn it on again the same day, it doesn't come on :> So no extra time for me ;)
    >:D< :* Sue
  • of a TENS unit...a tens unit is used to lessen the pain:

    How Does a TENS Unit work? Electrodes are placed on or near the area of pain. Soothing pulses are sent via the electrodes through the skin and along the nerve fibers. The pulses (controlled by the user at all times) suppress pain signals to the brain. TENS Machines also encourage the body to produce higher levels of its own natural pain killing chemicals called Endorphins and Encephalins.

    A bone growth stimulators encourage growth of the bone at fusion point by creating an electrical field over the fusion point. It does nothing to eleviate pain.

    My BGS is worn 24/7 for a period of up to 270 days after your first day of treatment. There are some that only have to be worn for short periods during the day.

    I also have a TENS unit that looks quite a bit like my BGS...I can wear that for as long as I want but since I find it no good for my back pain I dont use it. My back pain is caused from my discs and spine, not from the muscles covering them therefore using the tens unit would do no good as it only aleviates pain caused by muscles.

    I think alot of ppl tend to get these two confused.

    I cant tell you how well the BGS works as I started using mine about a week ago but I'll keep you posted. The unit is very expensive (over $5000.) but if it works, it'll be worth it. Luckily my insurance covered it.

    God Bless,
    Christina :)
  • It was the Donjoy unit like Cali-Sue mentioned. Used it for 20 minutes each evening. It was programed and needed to me used at the same time each day. If I didn't think to use it until like an hour later, the next time had to be 24hours later. So sometimes it got to the point where I had to skip a day in order to get the schedule earlier in the evening.
    The one Terri is talking about is more or less the same except instead of being strapped on, they use the 'pads'.
    But I can only relate to the Donjoy, and it had nothing to do with pain. The SCS is though in that it is a spinal cord stimulator. My pain mgmt doctor wanted me to have one of those implanted but sent me to the NS who said it would not help - that the TENS unit would be more specific for direct pain relief.
    My NS interpreted the mylegram and said the fusion worked but the bones grew inward, impringing my nerves - BURNING pain (inside and out) and said a redo would be necessary. I'm wondering if the bone stimulator was overkill?

  • Just to clarify:

    The stimulator I have IS NOT a tens unit. It is a Spinal Fusion Stimulator. It creates an electrical arc (in the shape of a football) around the area that was fused. No I do not feel anything at all for the most part, on occasion I can feel a slight electric shock but for only a second. As for it lessening pain, don't know why or how, but it is for me. I went from taking 10 percocets a day to basically nothing at all. Yes I still get stiff and sore and the normal aches and pains, but nowhere near like before. And when I don't have it on (while showering) I can feel the pain return. Here is what mine looks like:


    I have it attached with electrodes that I change every 3 days. And again, I am to wear it 24/7 with the exception of showering, when I unplug it from the electrodes.

    Terri, what I was told about these units is that they are preprogrammed to work for only 270 days. Once that time is up apparently they stop working. That would be my only worry about getting one from a friend. How long did they use it? If not for long then go for it!!! My insurance wouldn't pay for mine because I get my insurance thru the state, and they won't pay for anything that isn't absolutely necessary. I would have the dr's office check with the insurance company to see if they would pay for one.
  • I just checked out the link for yours and ours are one and the same. Sorry to hear it doesn't help with your pain like mine does, but everyone's bodies react to them differently.
  • The one I used only worked for 280 calendar days. It was programmed to work for 30 minutes in every 24 hour period. I too would caution you about using a friend's because it wasn't 280 uses, it was 280 calendar days and the clock started ticking the first time it was used. I could not feel it working, but apparently it emits an electromagnetic charge that promotes bone healing. Unfortunately I still required a revision, but it was definitely worth trying.

    Mine was easy to use and I always used it at night while watching the news. Lol I'm too young to be watching the news before going to bed--geesh when did I become my parents? :jawdrop:

    I think it is ridiculous that a $5,000 piece of equipment is not reprogrammable. you'd think someone could put a new chip in it or something, but they are disposable after the 280 days.

    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!
  • My cervical stimulator hung around my neck for 4 hours a day and the batteries had a rechargable life span of 270 days. The reason I needed it was to help with the fusion process from my first fusion, the doctor had to remove the plate holding that one together, to be able place the second plate for my second fusion. All seems well at this point, November will be 7 months and I have a OS appt then. I am curious to see the new x-rays. I have to agree about the price, but then again if it does work, it will be well worth it.

  • I have the same one, and I think it makes me hurt more, not sure why
  • Wore it for 6 months for a 9 level fusion. Totally fused, so a thumbs up!!!
  • I have the orthofix one also, 4 hours a day. I really don't feel much from it one way or the other. The only thing I notice is I hear clicking if I talk on the phone when I am wearing it, other then that does not seem to effect pain in anyway. I just hope it does its job and promotes bone growth. Here is a stupid question, if it promotes bone growth how does it just work on the fusion? I would hate to think it was causing any of the arthritic stuff to grow back after I just had spurs and stuff removed from 3 levels.
  • Do you have a problem with the electrodes...I always end up pulling mine off so I have to stick them on with those tape things which end up irritating my skin. I'm changing the electrodes themselves about every second day because of it.

    Christina :)
  • one on Weds!! I guess my OS wrote a script for one and when I went to see him today, he never even told me! I had to recieve this phone call tonight with some man on the other end telling me that his partner will be coming Wed to show me how to use it! I just hope it works!
    In the meantime, I also have to go for an epideral cortisone shot! Not fun! I just hope this all helps me, I really want to read more about this, so Please..KEEP THE POSTING UP!
    good call on this one Terri! I never thought I would getting one!

  • I just got mine dropped off today, it's from Orthofix. I have to wear it when I get home from surgery for 2 hours a day (can divide it up in hour increments) until the doc says I don't need it anymore. Seems a little bulky but who cares, anything to help it fuse better.:)))

  • I wore mine 24/7 for 5 months, and I am totally fused...don't know if it helped, but worth the try!!
  • I just got back from vacation and had a message that I will be getting one. They will be dropping it off prior to my surgery next Wednesday.
Sign In or Register to comment.