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Shocked.....my doctor wants me to use an external bone growth stimulator

I got a phone call today from a rep from my neurosurgeon's office. They needed contact information for my primary care physician so that they can request a bone growth stimulator via tricare (military insurance).

I had multi level ACDF surgery on August 27th and am doing weel and currently in physical therapy. I was under the impression doctors on order these for people that are having problems fusing or are high risk. I haven't had a followup MRI yet so we have no idea if I am fusing. I do not smoke so I am not high risk for non-fusion. I wonder why this is coming up. Anyone have any thoughts?
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Comments

  • Multilevel fusions are also considered "high risk."

    Jim
  • airborne72 said:
    Multilevel fusions are also considered "high risk."

    Jim
    I did not realize that. Thanks for the info. Also, sorry for the spelling errors apparently I am not very good at typing via my iphone.
  • BkinsBBkins Posts: 364
    edited 10/13/2012 - 8:16 AM
    for seeing if you are fusing are x-rays and Ct scan, not MRI's. If he is doing a MRI he is looking for something else. The BGS is not a problem. Kinda wondering why you were shocked. I personally would be happy that my doctor was doing everything to make sure I fused. Revision surgery for a non-fusion is not any fun by the way.

    Good luck on fusing.
  • Yeah, I'm with Bkins - I'd be thrilled if my dr suggested a BGS. Just one extra step to ensure a successful outcome from the surgery.
    Michelle
    L5-S1 Fusion, Discectomy on 7/10/12
    Herniated Discs at L3-L4-L5-S1, Spondylosis, Spondylolethesis at L5, DDD, Partial CES, Lumbar Facet Arthropathy
    Chronic back pain since 12/2010 (slip and fall on ice)
  • PostACDFPPostACDF Posts: 23
    edited 10/13/2012 - 11:14 AM
    It is MOST important that you get proper nutrition while your fusion is taking place. By that i mean High PROTEIN intake and High CALCIUM intake. Those two are needed for the new bone growth. There have been studies done that indicated smoking or not smoking has about the same SINGLE level CERVICAL fusion outcome after 6 months, but nutrition is essential.
    In my experience the easiest way to supplement your protein intake is with Protein Shakes and Powders, depending on your weight you may need around 90g daily. For Calcium the best thing to use is Citrical Calcium, because it is the easiest form of Calcium for your body to absorb. Citrical Calcium can be absorbed by your body even without food, and does not cause that much constipation when taken at max doses of around 1500-2000mg daily (please verify max safe intake). All other stuff like sea shells do not absorb easily and you need much more of it for the same effect. I ran out of health insurance after my one level ACDF, and 14 months after C6-C7 acdf surgery i have found out that im not fused, suffering beyond belief. From reading online i learned that it is possible to fuse even up to two years after neck surgery, and what proper nutrition after cervical fusion really means, PROTEIN and CALCIUM, and after 8 weeks i was starting to fuse. Multilevel is much more complicated, but i was lucky to avoid revision surgery by doing what i described above. I hope you can heal soon.
  • I am very concerned about fusing with have a 3 level done. I have used protein shakes and boost shakes, I will look into the Calcium supplements! Thanks
    3 level fusion L3-S1 July 23, 2012
  • Bkins said:
    for seeing if you are fusing are x-rays and Ct scan, not MRI's. If he is doing a MRI he is looking for something else. The BGS is not a problem. Kinda wondering why you were shocked. I personally would be happy that my doctor was doing everything to make sure I fused. Revision surgery for a non-fusion is not any fun by the way.

    Good luck on fusing.
    I am shocked simply because I was under the impression, based on the reading I have done, that this was something implemented if it was determined that a patient was not appropriately fusing after the surgery at a specific time (like 6 months post surgery).

    I was under the impression that the follow up MRI would be to check how my spinal cord is healing and if the fusion was going well. Maybe it is to check for a status on the spinal stenosis. I will have to ask this at my followup on the 23rd.
  • bpreachers said:
    Bkins said:
    for seeing if you are fusing are x-rays and Ct scan, not MRI's. If he is doing a MRI he is looking for something else. The BGS is not a problem. Kinda wondering why you were shocked. I personally would be happy that my doctor was doing everything to make sure I fused. Revision surgery for a non-fusion is not any fun by the way.

    Good luck on fusing.


    I am shocked simply because I was under the impression, based on the reading I have done, that this was something implemented if it was determined that a patient was not appropriately fusing after the surgery at a specific time (like 6 months post surgery).

    I was under the impression that the follow up MRI would be to check how my spinal cord is healing and if the fusion was going well. Maybe it is to check for a status on the spinal stenosis. I will have to ask this at my followup on the 23rd.

    I was given one 2 times right after surgery to help with fusing. I think 6 weeks had passed both times. Maybe its just a doctor preference thing but I'll take it either way.
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