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bone stimulator

dcarterddcarter Posts: 76
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:26 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I must be slow or something. No one ever told me about the bone stimulator. I just read in one of these topics about it and am really wondering now why I have never heard of one. My surgeon never told me about them, I have never heard anyone talk about them, I wonder if they work! Got me curious. Now I am looking them up on the internet and wondering if my insurance would cover one.

things that make you say hmmmmm :/


  • its for when you are NOT fusing.
  • I inquired before my surgery; I was told it was not covered unless you were overweight, diabetic, a smoker, or had a weakened immune system.
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  • I was a worker's comp case and I got one. I had no risk factors for failed fusion. Never smoked, weight wasn't bad, it was just that the surgeon required it. His staff told me he prescribes one for everyone he does a fusion on.

    According to X-rays, I'm fully fused.
    Several Epidurals, L4-S1 360 ALIF, Numerous Facet Joint Injections, RFA x2
  • My surgeon prescribes one for all his fusion patients regardless of risk factors. He says he believes in throwing in everything and the kitchen sink. I wear mine for 30 minutes a day. I have 4 1/2 more months to go.
  • I had a 2 level fusion and had a bone stimulator. My Dr said on 2 or more level fusions he always perscribes a stimulator to help with the fusion process. I wore mine for 6 months 20 minutes a day. It just speeds up the fusion process. My insurance did cover the cost. They are costly but if it can help then you should consider one if your Dr thinks it will help.

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  • I think I have something similar embedded, or perhaps you're talking about the ones implanted. The ortho doc who did my first fusion put one in, the battery lasts about 9 months but he said I needed it because I was a smoker.

    The NS next week is removing it when he does the new fusion and all the other hardware and will not be putting in a new one. I can feel it under my skin, about the size of a beeper.
  • During my three-level fusion surgery, my surgeon also inserted an Ebi bone fusion stimulator (my insurance paid for it). It is a small lithium battery pack that is just under my skin, with leads to the electrodes that sit on the bone chips. It was supposed to work for 6 months, than the battery slowly died. I am now almost 8 months after surgery. I could have it removed, but since it does not bother me, I don't bother. It must have worked, as I began showing fusion at 3 months and was more or less fused by 5 months (OS said I will continue fusing for a year). I don't know why more surgeons don't use this (cost?) but I only read one posting from a person who also had it. A final thought, this stimulator was supposed to aid fusion and nobody said anything about pain control, but now I wonder if in fact it did help, because I had not experienced any pain after surgery, nor did I have the need for pain medication, other than what they give me during my three day hospital stay.

  • I researched alot before my surgery that was done 2 1/2 weeks ago. I never had heard about them either, but am going to ask my surgeon about it on Weds.I want every oppertunity to have a sucessful fuson. Especially since mine was 2 level and everything I read is the more levels the more chance of failures. Any info anyone can give me such as brands and experiences with them would be appreciated, I just want to be as educated as i can when I see surgeon on Weds AM. :/
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