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problem from bone stimulator

mommatialuvmmommatialuv Posts: 269
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:36 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi All, I was given an external bone stimulator to use for 30 minutes each day. I use it most days, but regret it each time. The 30 minutes of therapy come with a lot of tingling and burning sensations, and the followig 12-18 hours severe pain in both legs/hips, severe enough to make me take meds hours ahead of the scheduled time. I dont like that. It frightens me. Has anyone else had difficulty with the external stimulator?
I see my surgeon for my 2 week followup on Monday and other than that feel like I am doing well, I have had 2 PT sessions that went well, I am walking around the block 2 times a day, except when I use the stimulator then I am down for the rest of the day. I am getting around in the house without my walker. (still use it around the block,security). My pain is usually well controlled with my
Hydrocodine every 6 hours and muscle relaxers evey 8 hrs I do still have difficulty laying in bed, but use my recliner mostly and feel good.
Thanks for your advice/help


  • Momma tia, I too used a bone growth stimulator, but to be honest I had no effects from it. Didn't really feel anything at all. I think you should definitely mention this to your doctor. Is it possible that the pain you are feeling is from the position you sit while using it? Just a thought.

    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!
  • thank you for your response, I thought about that the first time i used it because only had discomfort while using it, however since it gets worse/longer after each use, i have dedided to not use it again untill I see the doc Monday. Its only a couple of days and I am hoping it wont make a huge difference. I'm telling you the pain and immobility after my last use was unbearable, my hubby kept asking me if i needed to go to the ER. I wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that I still have my staples in place. They come out Monday also.
  • I am using the bone growth stimulator 4 hrs a day, and been on it so far 6 wks. Have 7 more wk to go dr says...I don't have your problem..the only thing with me is the discomfort of wearing it..I am a skinny minnie..the pressure and position of the stimulator laying on my shoulders/neck area is bad by the 4th hour..this is when I have to take a hydrocodone..I hate this device but will deal with it if it means speeding up the fusion..Hope your dr can help u with this..good luck to you..take care

    ACDF C5/6..8-06-09
  • I went for my 2 week follow-up and the doc put me on nerve pain meds, he asked me to try the bone stimulator again in a few days, I will try it again tomorrow, that will be my 3rd day on the nerve meds. I'll let you know how it goes.I only use it 30 minutes a day and it has to be at least 24 hours later or the machine wont work. It is programed vaery speifically.
  • I went for my 2 week follow-up and the doc put me on nerve pain meds, he asked me to try the bone stimulator again in a few days, I will try it again tomorrow, that will be my 3rd day on the nerve meds. I'll let you know how it goes.I only use it 30 minutes a day and it has to be at least 24 hours later or the machine wont work. It is programed vaery speifically.
  • sorry poste4d same thing twice,
  • I just started using the Bone Stimulator. I am 7 weeks out of C6/7 that was a partial corpectomy and discectomy and fusion with instrumentation. I had a lot of pain and some symptoms return around week 5. My surgeon had me go for a MRI this week, and basically the swelling is back along with the top portion of the fusion is now open. He put me back in my hard collar for 2 weeks, and then a nurse came by the house to set me up with my Bone Stimulator (4 hours a day 3-6 months). Once I was back in the collar, and too after I completed the Stim session, my pain probably dropped down from a 7/8 to about 3! Sorry to hear you had issues. Hopefully you and it are getting along now? Like was said by another in here, if it helps me fuse better, I am happy. Take care.

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • I am also using the cervical stimulator for 4 hours a day, and have been since surgery July 13th. I have to wear it until the end of the year, then YAY I'm done! The only problem I'm having with it is the way it sits, it kind of pushes my head forward, and I have to be conscious of how I hold my head & neck while wearing it. I've had an MRI since surgery, and the doc says the fusion is right where it's supposed to be.

    I hope they resolve your issue soon, and so sorry to hear you're having so much trouble and pain with it!
  • Howdy Kat_woman, looks like we have similar surgeries between us! Thanks very much for your kind words. The nurse that set me up with the Stim showed me how to adjust the "arms" for the back of my neck - it is pretty comfortable overall for me. Even though the hard collar is a bit cumbersome, I noticed a major reduction of pain wearing it again. After my first 4 hour session (maybe this is in my head?) I felt a bit better. From what my Doctor (surgeon), and the Nurse told me along with my own reading, I think the use of this device will be a win-win for my fusion completing as it should. My first fusion went better than "clockwork" as they say. Maybe this is the push the ole bones needed! Thanks again!!

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Sorry things took a little dip for you but glad they are improving again. I did try my bone stimulator again with the same negative results, so I dont have to use it, per my doc. My Neurontin was gradually increased to 1900mg per day. At my 6 week checkup/xray there were already early stages if fusion. My doc ordered me back to PT and said we would start decreasing the Neurontin in a couple weeks, trying to prepare me for my return to work scheduled on 11/23. PT, as we know, is rough at first, so i am having extra pain, but hopefully it will strengthen the muscles enough that i can walk for more than 20 minutes without pain. My left leg still has a lot of pain whenever I walk or stand for very long. I use my walker whenever I leave the house.
    Well I guess thats my update, again it is good to hear from you. Please keep us posted on your progress.
    God Bless and Keep You,
  • Greetings Shirley! :-)

    I did a bunch of reading tonight concerning various peoples "good/bad" results. It seems that more folks that used it for lower lumbar issues than the cervical had problems? Maybe the stimulation gets to the neck easier than the back - curious though I guess. My post op x-rays showed "all was well", but a week after that is when a lot of my symptoms (pain, weakness and numbness) came back! That is why my NS had me get a new MRI. In it you can see the top part of the new graph now not connected as it showed in the x-ray! Personally too in one of the views it looks like to me (and my hubby saw it straight out!) that the area in C7 vertebrae below the "wing thing" he used is cracked in 3 places! I didn't even tell my husband "what looked odd" to me - I wanted an unbiased look at it. Yet nothing stated on the MRI report, or stated by my NS. My NS didn't see the films yet though.

    I figure if it is just starting to have a stress fracture, and this stimulator does what they claim it might "self correct?" If I continue to see symptoms improve, then I will figure that isn't an issue, *but* if it continues or changes - I will POINT that area out to my surgeon and see what he says. :-) I think I am becoming his "problem child."

    It looks like you too are starting to see healing changes. Hopefully things will loosen up for you and you too start the improvement mode soon. :-) I haven't had any work done on my back, but if I were to get an MRI, I am sure I would hear the doctor say "Caaaching" as I walk in the office! History for me... helicopter crash (affected neck to the tail bone), two rear end collisions from jerks! And of course, lots of daily wear and tear! Please keep us posted on your recovery as well Shirley. *hug* Take care, and thanks!!

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
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