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Bone Graft Stimulator

L-DoggLL-Dogg Posts: 101
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:48 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Do these bone stim's really work?

How many of you got prescribed one?

How soon after surgery did you get it?

How long do you have to wear it for?

Mine is a PITA.It interferes with the wireless phones in the house. For some reason if I am using the phone while I have the stim on, if I put the phone to speakerphone....it drops the call and the phone readout tells me I am too far from the base. HUH? :|

It's an Orthofix dealio I have to wear around my neck for 4hrs a day. I was told to NOT switch it off before at least one hour and one minute had elapsed.

Well, today I got a very important call when I had only worn it about 40 minutes, so I took it off because it was making this ticking sound loudly in the phone......well I forgot to put it back on. Seeing as I did not turn it off because 1hr1minute had not passed, it ran it's 4 hours on the couch. Now it won't go on again I supposed because it's only supposed to run once in a 24 hr period.


I also got prescribed a nasal spray for bone growth, Miacalcin. Anyone get that also?


  • Hi,

    I'm using a bone stimulator this time around! I had a 360 fusion L4-L5 in August 09. I developed a non union with broken hardware. I had a PLIF 4 weeks now. I started with the stim around 2 weeks out.

    I only have to wear if for 1/2 a day. I know the one you have. What makes mine different is that is gives the same amount of radioactive waves but in a much shorter time! same as you but much faster. I have no problems with any interference.


    spondylolisthesis at L4-5; stenosis,
    Lumbar surgeries 1999 L4-L5
    Lumbar staph infection 1999-2000"
    Meningitis x5 in 1999-2001
    Brain shunt 2000"
    Brain shunt removed 20001"
    ALIF/PLIF fusion 8/5/09
    Failed fusion and Failed Hardware
    PLIF Fusion scheduled for 10/29/10
  • Okay thanks.

    BTW, I hope mine is not putting out radioactive waves.... :0)

    They are low frequency electromagnetic signals
  • I just got mine the other day same kind except for mine is for lumbar 4 hrs daily. doc said I have to wear it until I'm fused,thats ok by me just no more surgery please.
  • L-Dogg is correct. This is no radioactive wave forms in the Bone Growth Stimulator's, it emits low frequency electromagnetic signals as L-Dogg stated. The electromagnetic signals try to enhance the osteogenisis (Ossification) process - the laying down of bone (bone tissue formation)- enhances faster fusion if you will.

    I wasn't given mine till around month 4! Yeah, 4 months out. I was to wear it for 4 hours a day for 6 months. At my 6 month check and now a cracked vertebra, my surgeon told me I didn't need to wear it for the last 2 months - it was too late to be affective. Yeah, big surprise there doc! (G)

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

    The meds messed me up I'm using electromagnetic waves!! NOT radioactive waves :lol:" alt=":lol:" height="20" />

    Maria :)
  • Hi Brenda,

    OMG I said radioactive wave! I meant electromagnetic waves!!

  • MLT01 said:
    Hi Brenda,

    OMG I said radioactive wave! I meant electromagnetic waves!!

    Hehehe.... Not a problem Maria. I think we've all booboo'd (G) The process of how the Bone Growth Stimulator's work is actually rather interesting when you dig into it. :) I'm the analytical type if you haven't already figured that out. Rofla!!! :)


    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • I am 3 weeks out of a PLIF @ L5/S1 and I received mine last week. I haven't used it yet. I am still having a lot of pain and wearing my brace is almost unbearable so I am a bit hesitant to try the BGS.
  • At 6 months postop I was void of fusion, and begun wearing the lumbar bone stimulator. At 12 months, there seems to be decent bone growth on xray. I wear mine 4 hours a day also. I try to get it over with early because it is inconvenient, but otherwise, I am glad that my doctor agreed to use one.

  • I know if they do a revision on me, I will make sure I start from "day 1" post op! In two weeks mine will be more than a year old. I will then see if it still works! Remember, a lot of us have heard after a year it will stop working. My rep by the way...did not feel it had a hard "no more workie-poo" in it!

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Hi there,
    My bone stimulator was implanted when they did the fusion. I had the fusion in June of this year and went to the doctor the other day and he tested it and said the battery was dead. He is going to take it out on the 14th of this month because he thinks it is causing allot of my pain in the right middle region of my back. On my back you can feel a hard lump there about the size of a half dollar.
  • Actually we are talking of the wear around your neck or waist stimulator's. Is yours and SCS? A dead battery right out of the box, man, I would be mad! I hope when they fix it, it will work out well for you. :)

    Or maybe I goofed and this is an internal "Bone growth Stimulator" vs a Spinal Cord Stimulator?

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

    I to am still in allot of pain after my PLIF. I'm 4 weeks. I guess it's normal. I to find the stim hurts still tender to touch! Hope you feel better soon!

    Maria :)

    spondylolisthesis at L4-5; stenosis,
    Lumbar surgeries 1999 L4-L5
    Lumbar staph infection 1999-2000"
    Meningitis x5 in 1999-2001
    Brain shunt 2000"
    Brain shunt removed 20001"
    ALIF/PLIF fusion 8/5/09
    Failed fusion and Failed Hardware
    PLIF Fusion scheduled for 10/29/10

  • Maria, I haven't even put my BGS on yet. I'm going to give it a shot here in a few. I guess I should be grateful because I'm only supposed to wear mine for 30 minutes in a 24 hour period. I was a little surprised to see many of you had to wear yours for 4+ hours! I can't imagine!

    I was told my BGS will only function for 9 mo. then it will be useless. I was also told that the cost was 5,000 dollars! Luckily our insurance took care of most of the cost but it seems excessive for something that will be junk after just 9 mo.! You would think they'd find a way to re-purpose the equipment. Anyway, good luck in your recovery!
  • Hi Stormy,

    I'm actually using the same one as you! I would die if I had the 4hr one..:0) Hope you have a good day today!

  • I had one and started using it immediately upon release from hospital. Used it for 6 momths and had total fusion by 9 months post op.
    4 level posterolateral fusion L2-S1 with rods and screws and cadaver bone. Spondylolisthesis, spinal stenosis, scoliosis, sciatica, DDD, facet disease and arthritis. September 2002
  • I had a 2 level lumbar tlif.
    I was given the ortho-fix BGS, i wore it for 4 hours a day, for 6 months straight.
    Had a CTscan a the 5 month mark and it showed i was fusing.
    I will never know if i actually needed it, but i do believe that it helped. So if you have something that will help you, it's best to use it imo.
    Yup it's definitely a pita, but it does feel good to take it off.
  • Hi all, sorry I was MIA for a few days. What day is this anyway? Have we had Christmas yet? :O

    Yes the BGS is an external one. I also notice it causes tenderness. I have found that wearing it on the outside of my soft collar really helps it not increasing the tenderness around the neck. I also toss mine on at 7:30 when the kids leave for school and my wife to work. I get those 4 hrs out the way as soon as possible.

    I hate to sound like a whiney butt. My work is extreme and dangerous and we are on our feet 12 hours a day going for it. Lot's of lifting heavy stuff and moving it around and going into extremely hazardous areas to do our magic. So I am kept in pretty darn good shape from the physical aspect of my work. But this post neck fusion surgery, recovery deal, has really weakened me and I feel so wimpy. No going up on our roof this year to put the Christmas lights up on the roof edges. :< I always take pride in how I light up our structure.

    Between the constipation and the bone growth meds, the pain from the surgery, the limited movement etc etc I just feel so hammered lately. I have lost over 10 lbs in the last 4 weeks or so just from my limited food intake due to the narrowed throat opening. Sucks!!

    Although, truth be told....... I am not complaining about the weight loss...at all. :D I was sort of wanting to get back to my old rock 'n roll weight. If I could just find a way to get a 6 pack while sitting on the couch!!

    Anyway, I woke up to way increased pain on the 22nd Nov. Don't know what caused it. I was able to get the surgeon to move up my first post op CT Scan. Turns out one of the vertebra he worked on is cracked....C4...... and the spacer for the BMP that goes between the vertebra, has smooshed into the vertebra above it. You can clearly see the damage. The crack is at the back and does not seem related to the screw. The spacer is a bit sideways also. The spacer below it is fine, no damage there.

    He says I will not need another surgery, well not something we should worry about just now. But he did put me in a soft collar and has told me to make sure I use the BGS daily for the 4 hrs and the Calcitonin sprays in the nostril, 1 each side every day.

    That stuff makes me nauseous, dizzy and gives me the weirdest headaches. Don't like it, but I gotta do it.

    You know. I have had two serious choking issues. The first one was soon after getting home. I choked on food because of my restricted throat, thanks to the surgery. I was alone at home and thought my number was up. I did everything I could and eventually coughed out the blockage.

    Then a few nights ago and as far as I recall, before the night I woke up in pain.....I had another choking/gagging issue. I had retired to bed around midnight and decided to take a 100mg Colace capsule, to assist the nasty side effects of the opiates.

    About 10 minutes after hitting the sack I started wondering what this horrible smell was. Sort of medicine like, sort of menthol like. I assumed it was the Tiger Balm I had put on my neck a while before calling it a night.

    Then I noticed my throat was on fire!!! It burned so bad it scared the heck outa me.

    Turns out the Colace capsule did not go down. It got stuck in my throat and dissolved there. I swear, it was a combination of trying to cough it out and me gagging something fierce from the feeling of it right on my gag point, plus the fumes of the medicine....just everything. I was gagging violently....unbelievably violently. :sick: Well I got it out and it took about an hour of glass after glass of ice water and yogurt, Jello etc to calm my throat down. It actually ended up inflaming my throat so bad I could not swallow anything but liquids for two days.

    The stuff is VILE to the taste! Foul, nasty, evil....... don't ever let this happen to you. If you have a restricted throat, please consider getting the small 50mg Colace tablets rather than the gelatin capsules. I also have started crushing my larger pills and my Neurontin I pull out of the capsule and mix with yogurt or apple sauce.

    Anyway, I now wonder if the action of my head whipping back and forth as I was gagging and heaving, is what caused the force it must have taken to crack that vertebra and jam that Hydrasorb spacer/cage into the bone of the vertebra resting on it? I mean it looked like it would take a heavy landing from a jump off a low wall or something to cause that much damage. I know my surgeon thinks I am not telling him something. I can't tell him anything other than what I know though. I have not fallen, jumped or done anything like that.

    Trust me, I would tell him. I do not want any room for error here, and giving the man treating you ALL the information he needs is crucial for correct diagnosis and to determine the course of action.

    As for the constipation from the opiates. A couple days ago I discovered I was beyond merely being constipated. Constipated I can handle. No I was ....well I don't even like to say the word...........IMPACTED!!!!! :jawdrop: :jawdrop: :O :''(

    Let me just say that at one point I thought I was gonna die right there on the can. Holy Cow!!! I even thought of having my wife call 911. Yikes!!! How can that get so bad? I mean eventually the situation was turned around and things were running smoothly again......... :P Actually, because of the Colace capsule incident, I had stopped taking them......go figure. But now I have bought some prune juice, stool softener in pill form, Metamucil and I am increasing my water intake.

    Okay......how vile is prune juice? Yeeeeuuuchh!!!

    I know some of you must have gone through this also though...probably most of you if you are on the opiates.Wow.......it's brutal!

    You put all this stuff together and it is no wonder recovery is rough. My neck pain itself is the least of it.

    Anyway..........a long post...... sorry, I tend to express myself. I hope you are all feeling good and healing up properly.

    Here's hoping you all have a pain free and pleasant weekend.
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