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Bone Growth Stimulator Question

I've been using the Spinalogic bone growth stimulator since about Mid July.

I was just wondering, those of you that have had to use one or are still using it, how long does your doctor say you should use it? I've heard just a few months and other say up to a year.


  • I heard 6 months . Which surgery did you have? Mine has been starting to bother me . I have had mine on since June28th
  • I had a lumbar spinal fusioin L5 & S1 in June of this year. When my bone stimulator was delivered the delivery person from the company said it is pre programmed for 9 months. I use is once a day for 30 minutes. My last x-ray and doc visit was end of Sept. Next x-ray and visit is mid December. I understand that it could be anywhere from 9 months to one year depending how the bone growth. At last appt there was no bone growth that was visible. Hopefully my next visit will show some. I take 1200 mg of calcium in addition to using the machine.

    You said the yours is starting to bother you. How often do you have to use yours?
  • RickilalasRRickilalas Posts: 559
    edited 10/31/2013 - 2:51 PM
    In 2006 and 2007 I used bone growth stimulators for both a cervical and a lumbar fusions.
    This was in a trial to see how well they worked or if they even worked.
    Both of my fusions fused faster then those without. They also said my fusions were more solid then some of the others. I used mine 24/7 and only took it off to shower. I am surprised today all the different time frames they give everyone. I used mine for six months each time and they said my fusion was looking good and to stop using it.
    The stimulators themselves have so many days programmed in them not for the patient but for the manufactor. Once the days are used up the unit shuts down. They can be restarted but for some reason they rather sell you a new one for $5000 to $7000 bucks.

    Like I said mine was 24/7 and I had no problems or side effects but did benefit from it.
    One interesting thing that I came across was in 2006 my insurance company did not cover them at all in 2007 they started to cover them for some bone issues including fusion and some broken bones also.

    Good Luck
  • Hi I have the Orthofix bone growth stimulator and when I wear it my neck aches to the point that I have to take a pain pill. Does anyone else feel this or any different when you wear your bone stimulator? I have to wear mine 4 hours a day.
    Orlando Florida
    4 Level ACDF
    October 15th, 2013
  • Like Youngatheart, I also have a Spinalogic and wear it 1/2 hr each day. I was told I need to use it for 9 months. Hoping if I fuse sooner, I can discontinue using it. Weeble, it doesn't cause any pain when I wear it. I can't feel or hear anything. (other than the obvious "steering wheel" strapped to my back - LOL). I was instructed to use it every day at the same time, I strap it on in the morning when I'm having my coffee. It's just an annoyance.
    PLIF fusion L4-L5 and Decompression July 31
  • I had a fusion on October 1st and my surgeon never mentioned a bone growth stimulator to me. I wonder why some use it and some don't.
    My fusion was done at L4-L5. A cage was inserted and a rod/screws inserted in left side. BMP (bone morphogenetic protein) was also used.
    Micro-D June 21,2013
    Micro-D August 30,2013
    L4-L5 Fusion October 1,2013
  • 24/7 (minus showers) for 6 months.... must have done some good, I'm fused at all but one level.
    33yo mom of two. My surgical history...preadolescence scoliosis, kyphosis, and a hot mess.... 5 spine surgeries and lots of items added I wasn't born with (titanium, peek, surgical steel). Guess cremation is out. TSA loves me.
  • I am.surprised at the short time of usage each day. The way it was explained to me it only worked when it was on. I will be seeing the surgeon that did the trials and ask about the time of use. Both the hourly per day and the total months being used also. Maybe have his answer in a couple of weeks.
  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,110
    I wore mine for 6 months 4 hrs per day. Still didnt work for me
  • grammaof9ggrammaof9 Posts: 263
    edited 11/05/2013 - 2:18 AM
    I wear one for 6 months. 24/7. Just place electrodes in different places around the 6 inch cut. Mines called Biomed Spinal pack.
  • For those with the stimulator, how soon after surgery were you given one? I had my 2 level ALIF a week ago and I know my doctor asked my insurance about the stimulator, but I haven't heard anything.
    10/28/13 - ALIF, PSF, decompression at L4/L5 and L5/S1
  • EMS GuyEEMS Guy Posts: 916
    edited 11/05/2013 - 6:54 AM
    Much of what determines how long you wear a stimulator is the manufacturer. I had the Spinal Logic Stimulator (steering wheel) and wore it 30 min each day. I was actually fused in 3 months.

    Youngatheart - if you're four months into recovery with no bone growth detected, you need to start asking questions!

    Several Epidurals, L4-S1 360 ALIF, Numerous Facet Joint Injections, RFA x2
  • SteveT said:
    For those with the stimulator, how soon after surgery were you given one? I had my 2 level ALIF a week ago and I know my doctor asked my insurance about the stimulator, but I haven't heard anything.
    Steve, The dr gave me the stimulator at my 2 week check up.

    Keith, I hope the stimulator works as well for me as it did for you. I go to the NS next week and it'll be 3 1/2 months post op.
    PLIF fusion L4-L5 and Decompression July 31
  • I wore the bone stimulator every day for 6 months. I believe it was 4 hours a day.
    Mine was covered by insurance.
    It was explained to me that the bone growth stimulator was used on patients that have multi level fusions.
  • Deb1234DDeb1234 Posts: 59
    edited 11/17/2013 - 3:09 AM
    Dr said I was fusing ahead of schedule and lifted all restrictions. He told me to listen to my body, if something hurts, stop. I asked him if I still needed to wear my bone stimulator and he said yes, I need to wear it for the recommended time of 9 months. Still no Advil or Aleve (ugh). I will see him again in 3 months.

    Youngatheart, good luck with you upcoming checkup, let us know how you make out.
    PLIF fusion L4-L5 and Decompression July 31
  • I had surgery on 6/25/13 and started using the bone growth stimulator around 7/13/13. It had to be approved by insurance before I could get one. Surgeon's office took care of all the info, etc. I go back in December for my 6 month checkup and x rays...At my last appt which was 3 months post op there was no sign of new bone growth. Hopefully when I go back ini December it will show some.

    I'm as confused as everyone else about the different time frames to use it. I was told only 30 minutes every day. I get no pain or any sign that I'm using it. It amazes me that something that is supposed to help stimulate bone growth is run on a 9 volt battery. Even though I strap that steering wheel object around me every day faithfully, although not at the same time but within one hour of the day before.
  • I use 24/7 and surgery was c3 to C7. Just started becoming sensitive. Supposed send little signals to bring blood to the surface to aid in fusing. I take a break very little since I want to fuse. Seems like the physical therapist really helping make great progress been going since Oct 4th when I was fully out of collar. Finally sleeping back in my water. Just had epidural on Friday for L5/S1 and then maybe can tackle the knee.
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