Do bone growth stimulator's really work

Do bone growth stimulator's really work

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Yankee
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Do bone growth stimulator's really work

My NS has prescribed something called a external bone growth stimulator for me to use. I googled them in a attempt to understand their use but very little information was found other then they cost $3000-$5000 (that's alot of money) I assume because this device will be prescribed to me my insurance will cover the bill (I HOPE). Anyway, has anyone here used such a device and does it really work? thanks for your answers!

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tamtam
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Bone growth stimulator

Yankee,
I used a bone growth stimulator and we thought it was helping but then developed psuedoarthrosis. I suspect your surgeon wants this to encourage bone growth since you are a smoker. You may want to check and see if you insurance needs a prior approval before ordering the device. I think the most important thing is the stimulator needs to be used from the beginning, which I consider you still in that time frame. I see to many getting them months later once they realize the bone has stopped growing, which I don't think the bone has much chance at that point.

gethealthy
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I use one

Since I have a 3 level, am 59 and am borderline diabetic my insurance should cover mine.

Mine is a cervical bone stimultor and cost $5800. My insurance turned me down the first time around because they thought I'd asked for it not the doctor. I didn't even know what one was. The ortho rep went to bat for me and got a letter from my doctor so it should be covered now.

I don't know if it has helped me fuse but my Cat scan showed I am fusing and I'm 3 months now so that's good.

Mine gave me pain in my back so I learned to pinch the back together put a towel under it so it didn't dig into my back and to split the 4 hours into 3 sessions.

Good luck with yours

Yankee
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It arrived today

The bone growth stimulator my NS prescribed for me arrived today. The nurse that brought the device to me said my insurance covered the $5000. cost with no problem. Also, the company that sells the unit even paid the co pay for me. With it hanging over my neck and chest along with the neck brace and flashy lights I now look like Darth Vader! I am ready for halloween! LOL!

Aviatrix36440
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Time Frame Question

tamtam wrote:
I used a bone growth stimulator and we thought it was helping but then developed psuedoarthrosis. I think the most important thing is the stimulator needs to be used from the beginning. I see to many getting them months later once they realize the bone has stopped growing, which I don't think the bone has much chance at that point. (edited to those areas of interest for me)

Howdy Tamtam,

I had an MRI (due to recurrent symptoms) at the 8 week mark for my neck. It showed the top portion of the graph either "pulled" apart, or didn't /isn't fusing. I was then put on a bone stimulator. I have now been using it for a week and a half for 4 hours a day. What are your thoughts? Is a little over 2 months to start using one going to help? Of course, I have no clue if this is working or not. Smile

My prior fusion at the C5/6 level went smooth as silk, this latest is the C6/7 level - so far "not so smooth."

Brenda

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

tamtam
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Working stimulator

Brenda,

You are typically the person who these are ordered for unless you are a smoker or a multi-level fusion. Once they think something maybe going wrong with the fusion, the stimulator is ordered. Will it work? I sure hope so. The revision surgery is much harder on you. In you situation I would do everything possible to help your the bone fuse(I.E. walking, eating correctly, eliminate caffeine). While my suggestions are subjective, I would try anything that is natural to encourage bone growth, to avoid the future surgery.

I used the stimulator for 6 months religiously and ended with psuedo. In my case the bone looked like It was fused but actually was jointed back to the cord. A Ct scan revealed that it truly wasn't fused. You may still be earlier enough that it will started fusing again.

On a side note if you all feel a little discomfort from the stimulators that is possible. Hang with it, it lightens up. Although you really can't tell it the stimulator causes movement at those areas. So even if you feel some additional pain from using it, don't stop if the surgeon ordered it for you, then you need it. Now if it causes extreme pain call your surgeon and speak with him/her.

Aviatrix36440
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Hummmm - something possibly going wrong with the fusion?!?!

tamtam wrote:
Brenda,

You are typically the person who these are ordered for unless you are a smoker or a multi-level fusion. Once they think something maybe going wrong with the fusion, the stimulator is ordered. Will it work? I sure hope so. The revision surgery is much harder on you. In you situation I would do everything possible to help your the bone fuse(I.E. walking, eating correctly, eliminate caffeine). While my suggestions are subjective, I would try anything that is natural to encourage bone growth, to avoid the future surgery.

I used the stimulator for 6 months religiously and ended with psuedo. In my case the bone looked like It was fused but actually was jointed back to the cord. A Ct scan revealed that it truly wasn't fused. You may still be earlier enough that it will started fusing again.

Tamtam,

Thanks so much for your prompt reply to my questions. I looked at the MRI image again for the fusion separation area and it is rough/jagged in appearance. This makes (me) feel that it might have started to fuse and then pulled apart? Time will tell there. I learned a new word today with your post as well (psuedo). That doesn't sound good at all. Any idea at what point they decide the fusion isn't going to take? I now feel that the "pop" I felt around the 5 week mark (my hubby even heard it!!!) might have been the fusion that had started coming apart on the top. Once that happened my strength I had regained after surgery went, and the numbness came back even more. Pain followed right with it - but the hard collar and stim seem to have put a stop on most of the pain. Smile The rest didn't improve.

As a side note, except for feeling like I am wearing an odd necklace from Woodstock, I have had no ill effects from using the bone stimulator. No discomfort, headaches - all good there so far.

Brenda

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

Yankee
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Are you talking about me??

Aviatrix36440 wrote:
tamtam wrote:
Brenda,
Dont scare me like that! LOL I tought you folks were talking about me when you said they think something is going wrong with my fusion. then I thought to myself I just had the surgery only 9 days ago! they havent even done my first folowup visit yet!
You are typically the person who these are ordered for unless you are a smoker or a multi-level fusion. Once they think something maybe going wrong with the fusion, the stimulator is ordered. Will it work? I sure hope so. The revision surgery is much harder on you. In you situation I would do everything possible to help your the bone fuse(I.E. walking, eating correctly, eliminate caffeine). While my suggestions are subjective, I would try anything that is natural to encourage bone growth, to avoid the future surgery.

I used the stimulator for 6 months religiously and ended with psuedo. In my case the bone looked like It was fused but actually was jointed back to the cord. A Ct scan revealed that it truly wasn't fused. You may still be earlier enough that it will started fusing again.

Tamtam,

Thanks so much for your prompt reply to my questions. I looked at the MRI image again for the fusion separation area and it is rough/jagged in appearance. This makes (me) feel that it might have started to fuse and then pulled apart? Time will tell there. I learned a new word today with your post as well (psuedo). That doesn't sound good at all. Any idea at what point they decide the fusion isn't going to take? I now feel that the "pop" I felt around the 5 week mark (my hubby even heard it!!!) might have been the fusion that had started coming apart on the top. Once that happened my strength I had regained after surgery went, and the numbness came back even more. Pain followed right with it - but the hard collar and stim seem to have put a stop on most of the pain. Smile The rest didn't improve.

As a side note, except for feeling like I am wearing an odd necklace from Woodstock, I have had no ill effects from using the bone stimulator. No discomfort, headaches - all good there so far.

Brenda

Aviatrix36440
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Yankee

Aviatrix36440 wrote:
tamtam wrote:
I used a bone growth stimulator and we thought it was helping but then developed psuedoarthrosis. I think the most important thing is the stimulator needs to be used from the beginning. I see to many getting them months later once they realize the bone has stopped growing, which I don't think the bone has much chance at that point. (edited to those areas of interest for me)

Howdy Tamtam,

I had an MRI (due to recurrent symptoms) at the 8 week mark for my neck. It showed the top portion of the graph either "pulled" apart, or didn't /isn't fusing. I was then put on a bone stimulator. I have now been using it for a week and a half for 4 hours a day. What are your thoughts? Is a little over 2 months to start using one going to help? Of course, I have no clue if this is working or not. Smile

My prior fusion at the C5/6 level went smooth as silk, this latest is the C6/7 level - so far "not so smooth."

Brenda

I'm sorry if you were confused as to "whom" this discussion was directed at. As you can see, I was asking Tamtam specific questions concerning "later use" of the bone stimulator. I am the one that got put on one as I passed the 8th week post op. The top of my graph is not fusing, hence I wanted to see what someone who has knowledge of the use of bone stims thought. Sorry if you thought we meant you.

Brenda

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

gethealthy
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GREAT IDEA!

I'll join you greeting the kiddies in our new attire. I hope my company picks up the co pay!

McFusion (not verified)
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The costs of these things

The costs of these things are crazy, aren't they? Mine supposedly lists for $3300 and should be covered by insurance, but after doing a search on eBay I've seen the exact same one for like $100, and there are several of them listed. But I'm not here to debate the inflated cost of medical devices or care. If that's what it takes to obtain a solid fusion, at this point I am willing to try just about anything.

Just over six weeks ago I underwent my second lumbar fusion surgery attempt (L3 thru S1). The first one in 2001 resulted in a non union at all levels. Having been through this once before I pretty much knew what i was in for and did extensive research in hopes of increasing my odds at obtaining a successful fusion.

One of the things I learned about in my research was the bone stimulator so I asked my OS to request one. I received it 4 weeks post (about 2 weeks ago) and am to wear it 4 hours a day, just as others here indicate.

Having had back issues for many years now I am quite familiar with this website and have navigated to it many times for answers. i found this thread after Googling, Bone Stimulator's, Do They Work?". What I am finding though is there is not a lot of information out there about them, good or bad. I of course am going to wear it religiously, but it sure would be nice to hear som more success stories in regards to them.

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