Chiropractic

Patient Guide To Bone Growth Stimulation

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Improving spinal bone healing in at risk patients

Bone growth stimulation (BGS) is a therapy your surgeon may prescribe following a spinal fusion procedure. A bone growth stimulator is an auxiliary device worn following cervical (neck) or lumbar (low back) spine surgery. BGS may be used to assist spinal bone fuse after a fusion procedure or as a treatment for failed fusion. Naturally, you’ve questions about this technology.

 


Spinal column with implant, screw placement and fusion

 

The info provided in this patient guide can assist you to learn:

  • Bone heals
  • Risk factors for a poor or failed fusion
  • Role of bone growth stimulation in spine fusion aftercare
  • Questions to ask your back surgeon

“Bone growth stimulation to be used in both the cervical and lumbar spine has demonstrated to substantially help fusion results. Having been a study centre for this particular technology, I’ve used bone growth stimulation in most my post-operative cervical and lumbar patient instances. The patient assessment standards I use contains:
Multi-level fusions; more than one degree of the back is fused
Co-morbidities (risk factors) that could hinder bone healing and growing”

—Gerard J. Girasole, MD
Orthopaedic Surgeon
Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine Center

About Spinal Fusion

Spinal fusion is done to stop motion of neurologic deficit and the spine. During the procedure two or more vertebral bodies are joined together using instrumentation and bone graft. Spinal instrumentation includes poles, screws, plates, and interbody devices (implants). Bone graft may comprise your own bone (autograft), donor bone (allograft), or alternative forms of graft.

Bone graft helps stimulate new bone to grow through three stages:

  1. Inflammatory period: cells start to form new tissue
  2. Repair period: small blood vessel ingrowth begins
  3. Remodeling phase: bone structure becomes powerful

 

 

Spinal instrumentation creates an internal cast, allowing the inflammatory procedure to stimulate bone healing. With time, new bone grows into and about the implanted instrumentation healing into a construct that is sound.

Some patients are at risk for spinal fusion to fail. A failed fusion is called pseudarthrosis or nonunion. Pseudarthrosis and nonunion are medical terms your surgeon may utilize to identify a fusion dilemma.

Common Spinal Issues Treated Surgically With Fusion Include:

  • Degenerative disk disease
  • Fracture
  • Herniated disc
  • Spinal stenosis

Lumbar

  • Adult degenerative scoliosis
  • Spondylolisthesis

How Does A Bone Growth Stimulator Help Spinal Fusion?

A BGS sends electric signals to the fusion site. The electrical signals activate the body’s natural bone healing process, which may be impaired in at-risk patients.

Bone Growth Stimulation Has Been Put To Use For Decades To Help Bone Heal

Over 50 years ago scientists found that low-level electrical fields arouse the entire body’s bone-healing process. Other improvements included finding several types of energy that stimulate bone development, electromagnetic coil technology and only better devices — supported by clinical and scientific research—have enhanced bone healing in patients who undergo spinal fusion.

Different Types Of Bone Growth Stimulators

All bone growth stimulators are different. Certain types are designed to be surgically implanted (internal BGS) and other stimulators are worn outside the body (external BGS). Other differences include how stimulation is transmitted to the back and the kind of magnetic field or electric current created by the apparatus.

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The information herein on "Patient Guide To Bone Growth Stimulation" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, or licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.

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Our information scope is limited to Chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, contributing etiological viscerosomatic disturbances within clinical presentations, associated somatovisceral reflex clinical dynamics, subluxation complexes, sensitive health issues, and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions.

We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from a wide array of disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system.

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We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez DC or contact us at 915-850-0900.

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Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN*

email: coach@elpasofunctionalmedicine.com

Licensed in: Texas & New Mexico*

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CIFM*, IFMCP*, ATN*, CCST
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