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AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:29 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I had a spinal fusion (L4-5)6 weeks ago and was prescribed the spinal-stim at my 2 week appointment. I must wear 4 hours a day. After 2 days of wearing this my back pain was severe doing down through both my legs. Prior to surgery I only had pain in my right leg. I called my doctor's office and was told that it does not create pain. I quit wearing it for about a week and no longer had any leg pain. I decided to again try it about a week later and again the extreme pain in my back and both legs came back. LorTab 10 mg's and muscle relaxers did not relieve the pain which lasted a couple days after I stopping using it. I was improving great while not wearing it and after a few days was able to cut my pain med's down to 1 a day and more recently to none.

It is now 6 weeks after my fusion and I was doing great until I decided to put this bone growth stimulater back on yesterday for the 4 hours. I seemed to do better than previously while it was on, but last evening and today I am in extreme pain that the LorTab and muscle relaxers don't even take the edge off. I feel like I've gone back in time to right after the surgery in need of the morphine button IV!!!

Has anyone else had problems with this?



  • Can you regulate the intensity of the apparatus? I believe I was able to. Also I didn't wear mine(either one for cervical or lumbar) for more than 45 min. at a time and several times a day. Maybe it is too much and irritates the nerve endings.

    Call and ask the NS if you can change duration, settings etc.

    Hugs and God Bless,
  • That was the brand name of mine & it was sooo cumbersome & uncomfy..also was RX'd @ 4 hrs per day, but could break up the sessions. Not able to regulate it; was "set" for me by doc's nurse.

    I wore it (ugh!) for 9 months & I am fusing nicely...but yes, it did make my sciatica worse & also gave me the "bathroom trots" as part of it goes around your FRONT as well as around the lumbar area. Made my nerves "jumpy" also in my legs. I hated it!

    It was strange: no part of it actually touched the fusion area...! It's an oval-shaped thingy, front & back, w/ side straps...hard to sit/lie w/ it on so I'd walk around..

    Maybe it was the WALKING that helped!

    I agree: call your doc for more advice. If it's making yu feel lousy.... who needs to feel worse?!

    Good luck!

  • I have been wearing the DonJoy Spinalogic since August. I only have to wear for 30 minutes a day. It causes no discomfort other than it is bulky and can't really lay down with it on unless stay on your side. I have 2 months left with the thing. I am partially fused but not complete yet. Odd, I have seen some Spineys say the things actually decrease their pain. Good-luck
  • No, I can't regulate the intensity settings. When they gave it to me they said I can break up the 4 hour a day time (which I have) in no less than 1 hour intervals. I believe it is irritating the nerve endings as you mentioned because although the pain is now gone, my nerves are so 'jumpy'. When I laid down last night to sleep this 'jumpy' feeling went up and down my spine/torso, legs, and for the first time arms. I felt like I needed to jump out of my body it was so bad. Not sure if it was some kind of aniexty attack brought on by this thing. I had to get up and go outside for a while and walk to ease these feelings. I've never experienced anything like this before. I still feel it some today, but only through my back/torso. My husband believe it might be malfunctioning. Of course there's no way for the layman to know for sure.

    I have a post-op appointment on Monday so I'm going to bring it in for them to look at and hopefully adjust. I hate to have my fusion not take because of this. That is the only reason I've kept trying to use it.
  • With my stimulator, I feel nothing when i have to wear it, which is 4 hours a day... and I only have one more month to wear it...YEA!!! :)
  • I was given the same type of stimulator as you the bulky oval shaped one that you need to wear four hours a day regaurdless of how you break up the time. The device puts out an EMF feild (from what I understand) and I found that I was intensley effected by it, although there is little known about the side effects to this device. Like you I tried it had bad results thought it may have been the medicine so tried it again same results so I gave up on it after four times of the same result. I know there are some like myself who are sensative to EMF, some are highly sensative and I am one of them so even the slightest one causes me trouble. I dont know why it would make nerves jumpy that one is beyond me. I know the side effects for EMF's can be nausea, vomiting, diareha, dizzyness (vertigo even), paranoia, anxiety and other things. I couldnt tolerate the vertigo and nausea it caused. The last thing I needed was to vomit or pass out after my surgery so I quit the thing. I personally and I dont suggest going against what your doctor says, but I am still fusing without it maybe not as fast as I could be but as long as its happening I am okay not straping that thing to me. I was miserable using it.
    I hope some answer about the device connected to your nerves is resloved soon, and that you will be able to continue to wear it. I wish I was able to but I cant take the EMF that close to my own body. Best Wishes
  • I'm wearing the cervical-stim 2hrs. 2x a day. I'm 5 weeks post surgery for 2 level acdf. I started using it one week after surgery. At first, I didn't seem to notice anything. The past couple of weeks though I've noticed that when I wear it I have more pain, once the treatment is finished I feel a little better but I am having lingering pain. I also feel sick on my stomach most of the day. Which may not be bad thing because I have not been very physically active for over 6 months and the pounds are starting to add up. I'd prefer to feel well and exercise. I haven't tried not using it but I'll try a a little break from it and just see if I notice any improvement in the pain and sick feeling. That's the only way I know to tell if it's coming from the tx. I'd be curious to know if anyone else out there seems to be experiencing any side effects. If it helps me to heal better and faster I'll endure. They gave me an rx because of other medications that may affect healing. I'd also like to know the out come of others...do you think it helped? Was healing faster than anticipated? Thanks for any info.
  • I also had the same oval type bone stimulator and I thought I was nuts because it caused my pain to increase. My husband was always on me about me not wearing it. The discomfort eased up immensely after discontiunance. Though apparently I did fuse since my first one did not. Just had ct so I am waiting for copy.
  • I was told yesterday that I need to use a Bone growth stimulator for my next fusion surgery. I have a non union. I was wondering how much is the cost??? The Dr said they are pretty expensive and not sure what price I'm looking at.

    Maria :)
  • SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,084
    I wore my lumbar BGS 24 hours a day (except when showering) for 5 months with no adverse affects. I also used one after my cervical fusion and had no affects from wearing it. Seems odd that it would be causing such symptoms so contact your doctor and the rep for the company that gave you the unit to discuss it with them.
    2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 
  • I'll be surprised if they don't make me wear one, I have a history of non-union. None of the bones that were supposed to heal have, not sure how they will get this one to heal (heck, it wasn't supposed to collapse in the first place!).

    Don't they have internal BGS too?

    I should just see if I can use the one I have left from my collarbone (which still isn't fused).
  • Thank you! I thought I was crazy. I am 2nd week post op lumbar fusion and have been wearing this device for a week. I was told I had to wear it 24/7. I took it off after 2 days becuase I had the most incredible pain in my left leg (which I never exsperienced sciatic), I cannot sleep or move. It is the most painful thing, even more so than the surgery. Two days later, when feeling great (I haven't taken pain meds for my back in 2 days) I tried the stimlator again before I went to bed. Not 2 hours later, I had that incredible pain again. I have removed the device and will no longer wear it.
  • I've had my biomet stimulator for 2.5 months now and wear it almost constantly. I was told a minimum 4 hours a day, but that more was better. I still have pain, but that's with or without the stimulator. Even though I have no proof, I kind of wonder if these things are a placebo, as I haven't been able to find any independent studies that prove wether they help or not.

    At my 2 month post op appointment though, the doc said he definitely could see bone growth and thought I was ahead of schedule. 2 level 360* fusion at l4-s1.
  • I have been using the Cervical Stim since 2 weeks post of for a 2 level ACDF C5-6 C6-7. I felt it caused extra swelling in my throat which cause swallowing issues which were already significant. I was told that it does happen because it creates more blood flow to the area which increases the swelling. I was told to only complete one hour at a time. I am at 10 weeks post op and the same issue is continuing. DO others have this issue?
  • I also was given the bone growth stimulator at my 2 wk appt. I am 4 weeks out now and have been faithfully wearing it 4 hrs a day. I didn't think I was having any side effects till reading this forum. But interesting you mentioned the bathroom trots, and ding! a bell went off, I have been going thru this and it's highly unusual for me, bcuz I usually have the opposite problem... LOL. I just could not figureout why and thought maybe it was just the anesthetics still in my system. (5 hr surgery). So now am wondering if this is the cause. Otherwise I don't think I'm having any side effects. Was told to wear it over my back brace and most likely will wear it for 9 mos, and the back brace will come off before this and then will just wear it over clothing. It's not to be worn against your skin he said.
  • I had spine fusion on 3/1 and have since a week past surgery been wearing the BGS since a week past surgery. It was performed at L5-S1 and now a little over 2 months I'm having a big commitment.
    I haven't felt any major discomfort and wear it 24/7 except when showering,,
  • Hi all. I don't remember the name of the one I had been given for my lumbar fusion 2 years ago. But I do remember having to wear it for 2 hours a day. My only issue was I couldn't wear it near a computor or it would mess up the computor. Which meant not wearing it while at work, or when home again to relax and catch up with friends on line. it also played havoc with the self check out scanners at the store.
  • jenni4jjenni4 Posts: 1
    edited 07/11/2014 - 4:27 PM
    How long did some of you wear the soft brace? My Dr told me that it was up to me to decide. I wear the bone stimulator 4 hours daily, but I break it up into 1 hour each. I am experiencing neck and shoulder pain, bathroom trots and a jittery feeling.

    I called the Stimulator hot line and they suggested that I place a towel around my shoulders while wearing it and it helps. My surgery is 4 weeks today.
  • It really depends on what the surgeon instructed you to do regarding braces. Some want their patients to wear them only when they are driving and others want their patients to wean off them as soon as possible since wearing them too long can result in weakened neck muscles.
  • I have also had a problem I wrote a post not too long a go I ended up in the ER thanks to wearing this for 4 hours a day it was like food poisoning with major hives it's now almost two weeks and still I have major hives stomach still hasn't been the same I called the company and they had nothing to say about how too treat this it tells you in the book it could happen???? now playing lets see what works with my DR hoping it gets better the only thing I would say is not to wear it the full 4 hours break it up ......
    cathy palma
  • I'm experiencing ossification of my upper leg muscle tissue after hip replacement followed by L3-5 fusion. The Spinal-Stim was prescribed after the fusion. Doctor says no connection, I'm not convinced. Also see abnormal growth (a noticeable bump) at about the L1 area (approximately where the top of the transmitter portion rests on the spine. Anyone else experience unwanted bone growth from this thing?
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,422
    Welcome to Spine-Health
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    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • Then connect to atex backed and a small pager like device clips on my clothes I'm to wear it 24/7 I'm 8 months and barely fused so they gave me this device however they neglected to see I'm latex and certain adhesive allergies...and the cost in the eastern United States is 6,000 .
    This can't be happening
  • I just had a fusion of T6  - T8. I was prescribed the Spinalogic  It was preset for 30 min per day for 9 months.  Beginning the second time it caused excruciating pain and I could not wear it 30 minutes. I was in pain with a muscle spasm for 3 hours afterwards. After the 3rd time, I talked to my doctor and emailed the company. They will test it for defects. I have reported it on the FDA adverse affect website. It cost $4500 with my part being $900. I have told my insurance that I am unable to use it and to make a note not to pay it until this is resolved. I just now realize the I had other symptoms that might be from it. The same week that I used it, I had night sweats and chills when I got out of bed. I checked my temp thinking that I might have a fever. I was 96.3 degrees the first night and 93.7 the morning after the 3rd use. I also vomited whenever I eveneed drank a glass of water. I was thought to have a viral flu, but I had no other symtoms. For two more days, a total of 7 days after the first use, I was unable to maintain my temperature   right after getting up. I would get to 97.8 within an hour after I put on fleece. My home was 72 degrees. Yesterday, 6 days after the last treatment, I am 98 degrees  when I get up. I also kept dropping thgo and was walking like I was drunk the day after the third treatment. Doctors felt my thermometer was inaccurate, but I had the same pattern of temperatures 3 days in a row.
  • megoodmmegood Manassas, VAPosts: 1
    I was given the bone growth stimulator approximately one month following my surgery. I was told I'd feel nothing as I was wearing the collar, and I wore it, as directed 4 hours per day for 3 days religiously. On the morning of the 4th day, while wearing it, my entire head began to shake violently. So much so, I was convinced I was about to die then and there. After about the longest minute of my life, the shaking subsided and I began to think it was just a one time thing that was to be chalked up to my being up too late the night before.  The episode was pushed aside in my mind until about 8:00 pm that night when, while watching television, it began again.  I was not wearing the bone grown stimulator this time.  And yet, the only thing that added to my routine was the bone grown stimulator. So I began to do some research on the internet. Needless to say, what I found was breathtaking. I case after case patients have experienced similar side effects. The documentation, that comes with the device, states that any side effects may, or may not be, directly related to the use of the Cirvical-Stim. and yet, the documentation further states that any adverse effects, related to the Cirvical-Stim, should stop when you discontinue use. Not once, is the reaction I had, mentioned any of the documentation I was provided with the device. It's been 2 days of discontinued use and no reaction has re-occurred. That that should tell you something. 

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