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Use of Internal Battery with Lumbar Fusion

Patty5374PPatty5374 Posts: 14
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:44 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi, all. I'm 2 weeks 4 days past my lumbar fusion - L5-S1. Yesterday I felt something not quite right, and my husband found a raised section over my operative spot that was about 1 inch high and the surface size of a baseball. Of course the doc is out of town until next week, but the nurse explained that I have a battery underneath my skin that is a bone stimulator. She said the area around it was collecting fluid and would eventually be reabsorbed into the skin. She also advised me to keep a check out for fever and redness at the area and to come in if that was the case.

I had no idea about the battery - and although I asked a lot of questions, you don't know what you don't know to ask. Has anyone else had a battery underneath their skin? How long does it take for the fluid to be reabsorbed? How long does it work? Do you get it removed? Is it painful or dangerous if you don't get it removed? I can't imagine it being an office procedure if you do.

Anything you could do to help educate me would be most appreciated.


  • Hi Patty,

    See this link:


    Hope it helps. Please keep us posted on how you're doing.

  • SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,084
    My Bone Growth Stimulator is external. It's a couple patches I apply once a week and I carry an attached battery pack in my pocket. The insertion of the internal BGS should have been on your surgical consent form that you signed.
    2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 
  • Thanks for the information. I found out my doc uses internal battery bone growth stimulators for all his lumbar surgeries. I wound up having the site drained yesterday - with a big needle! It was so upsetting because I'm tired of pain/probing in my back. I've been dealing with this for 9 years! But it was quick. He said it would take several weeks for the fluid to reabsorb, so I traded 2 minutes of intense pain with the needle over several weeks of just plain "sore and bothersome".

    Today, some soreness from the needle probing, but feeling better about it all.

    Thanks for your help!

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