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Do bone growth stimulator's really work



  • Maybe mine is just a different kind of device -- it looks like a big frisbee. I do have to use it for 9 months. BTW, don't know if you found this out but it won't start until it has been precisely 24 hrs since the last time you used it. I made a mistake and started using it late at night 11:30 or so, now I can't get it to start any earlier, my husband has found me several time asleep with it on, now that's a funny visual isn't it?
  • I read that your body repairs itself better as you sleep. Who knows the stimulator might be more effective as you sleep
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  • Yankee said:
    I read that your body repairs itself better as you sleep. Who knows the stimulator might be more effective as you sleep
    Yankee...I have tried to take a nap with that puppy on - worse than the collar for me! I had to turn it off, take my nap, and finish when I got up. Good thought though!!

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • I went for my post op visit on 11/23 and per the xrays everything looks good so far with the fusion at C5 C6 but the doctor did order a bone stimulator he said to just try everything possible. The bone stimulator was delivered yesterday and today will be the first day wearing it so we will see how it goes. So far I have tightness in my neck and inbetween my shoulder blades sometimes painful but hopefully that will go away in time and the doc said it was normal keeping my fingers crossed at 3 weeks post op :)
  • Bone growth and spinal fusion stimulation applies electromagnetic energy to a fracture or fusion site in order to encourage and/or accelerate bone growth and bone healing. In the event of bone fractures and damage, growth factors released at the site of injury begin the healing process by stimulating osteoblasts, fibroblasts, endothelial, and other specialized cells to in order to restore tissue to its original strength and shape. Bone generates its own piezoelectric current, and once bone has been traumatized, it responds positively when electromagnetic energy is applied to it in order to speed up the healing process. In healthy individuals, this response happens naturally without the aid of medical technology but may be compromised under a number of conditions depending upon the severity of the fracture, any concomitant health conditions of the patient, smoking habits of the patient, obesity, advanced age, and the area where the fracture occurred.

    Manufacturers and independent researchers have devoted more energy into researching the method of action behind electrical stimulation on musculoskeletal and other types of tissues, including stem cells. Bone growth and spinal fusion stimulators are used now as an adjunct to external or internal surgical fixation of the bone as well as casting and bracing.

    Types of Stimulators:

    Based on the surgeon's preference, or if the patient has risk factors for fusion, an electrical bone growth stimulator may be used as an adjunct to spinal fusion surgery to help enhance the chances of achieving a successful bone fusion.

    Bone stimulators can either be implanted under the skin (internal) or worn on the outside of the skin (external):

    External Stimulators

    Pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) stimulators, such as those from Orthofix and EBI, deliver low energy signals in specific amplitudes, repetitions, and duration to the patient's bone tissues. PEMF stimulators are always noninvasive and they use an electrical coil to transform battery power or household current into pulsed currents that are delivered via the stimulator's treatment head to the fracture or fusion site.

    Capacitive coupling (CC) systems, namely EBI's Bioelectron OrthoPak and SpinalPak, deliver a constant current via electrode pads that are affixed to the skin above the fracture or fusion site. The pads are kept in place 24 hours a day in order to deliver a continuous treatment.

    OrthoLogic's combined magnetic field (CMF) technology is an alternative to traditional PEMF since it combines a dynamic magnetic field with an underlying static magnetic field to form an evenly distributed electric current for application to the fracture or fusion site. The design of the CMF stimulator is similar to PEMF stimulators in that it uses an external coil system. Smith & Nephew's Exogen systems use pulsed ultrasound delivered by an externally applied transducer to stimulate fracture healing. The length of treatment is based on the nature of the fracture or fusion, the health of the patient, and other determinations made by the physician.

    Product Trends:

    External systems depend a great deal on patient compliance, so manufacturers are actively developing designs that are smaller, lighter, and require less daily treatment time in order to encourage compliance. The vast majority of bone growth and spinal fusion stimulators sold are external designs and they are preferred since they do not require surgery for use. This benefit is more relevant to the treatment of patients suffering from nonunion or delayed union fractures since they do not always require surgery for treatment as compared to spinal fusion patients receiving stimulation who all undergo surgery thereby giving the physician an opportunity to implant a stimulator.
    Implantable Stimulators

    Implantable bone growth stimulators and spinal fusion stimulators are surgically implanted at either the fracture or fusion site and constantly deliver direct current stimulation for up to six to twelve months at which point the device can be removed in an outpatient operation. Many surgeons and patients often elect to simply leave the device implanted. The device is small and consists of a pulse generator containing a lithium battery attached to one or two wire cathodes which deliver the current to the fracture or fusion site. Implantable stimulators can be used in conjunction with bone graft, fixation instrumentation, and inter-body devices in order to provide adjunctive treatment for patients at risk for non-fusion. Implantable stimulators offer the benefit of consistent, uniform current to the fracture or fusion site and because the system is surgically implanted and automatic, patient compliance is not an issue. Costs for the systems are higher than external stimulators since their need for surgical implantation and explantation gives hospitals the opportunity to mark-up prices for the systems. Manufacturers and surgeons do not exactly know how direct current stimulators help to encourage bone growth, but research has shown that it enhances the promotion and formation of bone-forming osteoblast cells and inhibits the activity of bone-absorbing cells called osteoclasts.

    Opinions about bone growth and spinal fusion stimulation vary dramatically from physician to physician. Many physicians have expressed the opinion that stimulation can be very beneficial for certain patients and then hardly beneficial at all for others leaving room for many questions regarding proper patient selection and application. An ongoing argument between competitors in the market relates to the duration and intensity (dosage).

    Apparently greater research needs to be performed on the mechanism of action behind bone growth stimulation in order to determine which approach is valid. With the increasing number of spinal fusion procedures, favourable reimbursement for bone growth stimulation and better designs to improve patient compliance along with more published clinical studies, the market for bone growth and spinal fusion stimulators is all set to revolutionize the orthopaedic market globally.

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  • long past on reply...hope it worked...yea they do have internal timers so anyone reading this may not want to buy off ebay.. mine stops working after 400 days...i don't know if this means from first activation or use..but I wear mine avg 17 hours a day ..serious shattering of my fibula and tibia..but since I'm only 21 days into treatment... ill try to remember to update
  • Hi all. New to discussion. Had 2 cervical discs removed with 3 vert. bone fusion 2 yrs ago that went perfectly.  Had to have another one end of Jan this year that removed one more below the others and fused but this time there were problems. I was given a Spinal Logic Bone Growth Stimulator that cost $5,250.00.  My co-pay was $310.00 !!!  Required to where 30 mins. a day. It's been over 3 months out from surgery.   I hope it helps.
    Have had to have 2 xrays, 1 MRI and 1 CT scan before they would give me one.  Will see my NS next week (May 8) to find out prognosis.
    Been getting bad headaches since using it. Has anyone else had that issue ?
    Sandford in SoCal.
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