Bone Growth Stimulators

By February 23, 2023February 27th, 2023No Comments
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Over 15 years (2001-2016), Canadians above 40 years of age had a total of 1.8 million fractures. Recovery from fractures can be a painful healing process and be made worse if you are not healing as fast as you should. This can also extend the loss of your normal daily routine.

If you have a broken bone, you may or may not have heard of bone growth stimulators. Many people do not know exactly what this is although they were used by 450 Canadian orthopaedic surgeons in 2008. Having a better idea of what it is may give you the insight you need to ask your healthcare professional if bone growth stimulators are right for you and how you can get started.

Your orthopaedic doctor or health care professional may have already recommended this treatment for you. The information in this article will help you to get a better understanding of what bone growth stimulators are so you feel more confident with using them, heal faster, and get back to your daily activities as soon as possible.

So, What Are Bone Growth Stimulators?

Bone growth stimulators are available as non-invasive or external tools that can be applied over the broken bone to enhance natural bone healing and help you recover from your fracture or surgery faster. These can be strapped onto you and resemble a brace or a belt that is usually worn while lying down or sitting.

Some orthopaedic doctors may insert internal bone growth stimulators during the surgery but these can be expensive and will need another surgery to take out. This can be associated with a risk of infection. At Health Bound, we use bone growth stimulators that are non-invasive and external to the body. Therefore, this article will mainly focus on external bone growth stimulation technology.

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How Do Bone Growth Stimulators Work?

Our bodies can heal naturally after breaking a bone with bone-forming cells known as osteoblasts. However, after surgery and an injury of a broken bone, these cells may not be working as they should. Bone growth stimulators use energy through electric or ultrasound waves to stimulate the increase of cells that build the bones in your body. This works because when bones are healing, they create an electric field around them which the bone growth stimulators target.

When Can I Use Bone Growth Stimulators?

Bone growth stimulators can be used when a broken bone is not healing the way it should or when there are reasons your physician suspects that your bone healing will be delayed. Some of those reasons may be certain medical conditions, like diabetes, or the complexity of the fracture that you have sustained.

Why Is My Fracture Not Healing the Way It Should?

You would need to ask your doctor for your specific reason but research shows that there are many reasons that delay healing time for broken bones. This may happen because:

  • Low blood flow due to severe injury or lifestyle habits like smoking.
  • Too much damage to the bone.
  • Not enough biological growth factors.
  • Inadequate post-surgical care.
  • Bone infections (osteomyelitis).

Are They Safe and Effective?

Research shows that electrical and ultrasound bone growth stimulators have beneficial clinical outcomes in spinal fusion and nonunion fracture healing rates, wrist and shoulder mobility, and wound healing. For example, in one study, patients with electrical bone growth stimulators had higher spinal fusion healing rates by 126% than those without (Cottrill et al., 2020). No side-effects or adverse events occurred with low-intensity ultrasound pulses. Other clinical studies have shown that the use of the device resulted in a success rate of 89% (Phillips et al., 2016).

Will Bone Growth Stimulators Cause Pain?

No, bone growth stimulators are virtually painless as you cannot feel the electric or ultrasound waves that the device emits. If bone growth stimulators are causing you pain, you should contact your doctor or healthcare professional right away.

Why Purchase a Bone Growth Stimulator from Health Bound?

Image of a physiotherapist demonstrating bone growth stimulator

At Health Bound Health Network, we use evidence-based and non-invasive bone growth stimulators to help heal non-union fractures and lumbar spinal fusion after surgery. Health Bound Health Network is an official vendor of these Bone Growth Stimulators and our team would love to assist you with procuring a device that has been prescribed by your physician. We also offer a follow-up education session from one of our physiotherapists, who will provide education on the use of the device when it is delivered to ensure that the device is used correctly.

The Bone Growth Stimulators can be costly however, here at Health Bound, we have the ability to directly bill any insurance provider to obtain funding for this device. As such, please contact us and we can assist you in the process of determining whether you have funding from an insurance company to cover the cost of this device. If you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident or a work-related accident or have extended health benefits through your work you may have coverage for this device. To learn more about the devices we offer at Health Bound please visit Enovis’ website.


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