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Smoking and bone growth stimulator



  • stunned.... 2-10 hours a day? I was asked (and did) wear mine 24/7 with showers the only exception. Anyone else asked to wear their's this way?
    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 was not prescribed one until 9 months post surgery (two level lumbar) when indications were that I may not be fusing. Insurance paid for it ($5000). I am a nonsmoker. My tenure was 4 hours a day. This could be split up, but not in any duration less than one hour.

    Fast forward. Yesterday I was finally validated after 22 months of reporting pain and a sense of instability when the xray showed a "halo." My surgeon said it was either good news or bad news. To me it was good news (and obviously good news for his bank account). I will undergo a revision. Immediately after that surgery I will be wearing the BGS and turtle shell. I am now labeled an "at risk" fusion patient.

    I so dread doing this again, but I can't envision the balance of my life enduring this condition.


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  • AllMetalAAllMetal Posts: 1,189
    edited 02/01/2013 - 2:11 PM
    that is all. Sorry airborne72.
    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 had a two level ACDF (C3/4 C4/5) done three months ago.
    My surgeon had me get the Biomet Bone Growth Stimulator - and I was to wear the stimulator a minmum of 16 hours a day. He said that as long as I was wearing it that long, I should just keep it on 24/7 - minus time to shower.

    I was diligent about wearing it, despite the fact that it caused a terrible heat rash at the back of my neck. The combination of the BGS AND the Miami J Collar - my neck hates to be enclosed in anything.

    Now, fast forward - 3 months later and I just went to see my surgeon for my 12 week post-op visit and he said my neck was almost fully fused! So, the torture of the heat rash has been worth it.

    I am assuming fusion would take longer (he said up to a year, depending on several things), so I am way ahead of the game.

    Fortunately, I don't smoke, don't drink sodas and am in generally good health, except for the neck stuff.
    So, there you have it.

    Will I ever know for sure whether the BGS made a difference? I sure hope I never have to know!!! :)

    Good luck!
    10/26/2012 ACDF C3/4 C4/5 surgery
    No pain; no pain meds - thank goodness!
    04/01/2013 - 5 months + 1 week - FUSED
    Doing some physical therapy for even better range of motion
  • Apparently, there are several different brands, and the surgeon notifies the company for the duration of daily treatment. The one I have is set for 1/2 hour of daily treatments. It is not adjustable, and only one treatment is permitted for each 24 hour duration.

    Obviously, you know that continuing to smoke is defeating your chances of a successful fusion. Statistics about BGS and smokers who continue to smoke while using them are meaningless when applied to an individual, because only the individual's response is relevant. It doesn't matter if thirty percent of smokers who wear a BGS fuse if you're not one of those thirty percent!

    If you are using a BGS, are you aware that you are not supposed to be smoking AT ALL while it is in use? So if you are wearing it for ten hours a day, you're not supposed to be smoking at all during those ten hours. Actually, that is giving you a head-start on quitting, if you think about it.

    Is it possible that you can manage to cut down on the amount that you smoke? At least that will help somewhat, and perhaps be less intimidating than "quitting forever."

    Or, you might want to borrow the old tried-but-true slogan from Alcoholics Anonymous: "One day at a time." The idea is that if you can manage to not smoke for one day, you can do it again the next day. And so forth and so on. You're already not supposed to be smoking with the BGS on, so you're more than halfway there, assuming you sleep--LOL!

    See if your local hospital, the local chapter of the American Cancer Society, or the local chapter of the American Lung Association offers smoking support groups. With all the additives that the tobacco companies put into cigarettes (which, by the way, is the lowest crap grade tobacco that they produce,) there are plenty of very addictive substances in cigarette smoke. It can, for many people, be a harder habit to kick than heroin is. Some people can manage cold turkey, some need pharmacologics (Chantix or nicotine replacement therapy) to stop, and some people do really well when they can discuss their experiences with other people who are trying to quit. Also, statistically, it takes the average long term smoker seven attempts to finally stop smoking successfully.

    So don't quit trying to quit! There are a lot more benefits to it: We just have an additional one.
    I'm not a spinal diagnosis. I'm a human being with a spinal diagnosis.
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