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for those who have used an external bone stimulator after lumbar fusion

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:26 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I just got a call saying that my neurosurgeon wants me to start using an external bone stimulator to wear 1/2 hour per day..they'll be by Friday morning to deliver it. I guess I'll find out the specifics as to why he thinks I will benefit when I have my first meeting with him on the 27th. I asked him at my last pre-op meeting if he thought I would be using one. At that time, he kind of shrugged it off saying that he normally uses them for specific people and/or conditions warranting it after the fact and he did not just automatically assign them. He did know that I smoked 3-4 cigars per week beforehand, so maybe he's just being preventive. Maybe I need to quit worrying about stuff and gladly accept any and all "help". A couple of questions, though:

1. does it matter when during the day I wear it?
2. can I "feel" any effects while it's on or afterwards?
3. do I need to be standing while using or can I lie down?
4. any approximate average time of having to use it?

thanks for any input!!!



  • Hi, My daughter (14) has been using an external stimulator for about 3 months following a fusion surgery. She wears it for 30 min. each day. It's easy to use. There is no pain involved. You actually can't feel anything. We were told that she can lay or sit but the important thing is to be still during the treatment so the device stays in place. It doesn't matter what time of the day you use it but it's very important to stick to the same time each day, within reason. So, if you use it at 7pm, you need to stick to about that time each day. The reason for this is because it needs 24 hours between sessions for the bone to respond each time. We were told that there should be improvement in the first couple of months. It's been three months and, so far, no real improvement according to the CTScan. But we're still hopeful. Our doc said that sometimes it is nessesary to use it for 6 months or longer before you see benifits. Hope this is helpful.
  • I have one and have been using it for about 2 weeks now. I have to have it on for 4 hours everyday and I supposed to need it for about 9 months (ugh).

    You don;t feel anything at all while it is on. I usually take a shower and put it on in the AM while I am watching TV and doing my computer stuff.

    Hope it helps! Good Luck!!
  • thanks for answering my questions!
  • I have the ortho-fix model and have to wear it 4 hours per day. I was not told that I had to wear it a specific time of the day. So, the good thing is tht I can break up the time. I can't feel any effects from it. I was told that I could wear it when I was laying down, or whenever. However mine is kind of bulkly so I prefer to wear it when I am not lying down. I was told that I would have to wear it 4-6 months. I figure if it is helping me heal it is well worth wearing.
  • but the guy said that I will only have to wear it for 1/2 hour per day
  • I have the same model the ortho fix :)

  • I also have the Orthofix Spinal-Stim (model #2212). The woman who brought this to me told me it's for people who fall into higher-risk categories when it comes to fusing. I'd quit smoking 3 weeks before surgery and was told because of how long it takes to get all the effects of smoking out of my system, my doctor ordered it for me.

    As far as directions go, I was told to wear it for 2 hours/day. It wasn't the world's most comfortable to sleep with, but I managed when I was really out of it. I wasn't told to use it at a particular time of day either. I was able to discontinue early as my 4 1/2 month appointment I was 90% fused (stopped using it at 5 months). I never felt anything while wearing it, and definitely think it was worth it just in case I'd had trouble fusing.

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