A Patients' Guide to Bone Growth Stimulation

Questions to Ask Your Surgeon about Bone Growth Stimulation

Patient Guide to Bone Growth Stimulation

There are many important questions to ask your surgeon if spine surgery is recommended. Naturally, you want to know why you need surgery, the type of procedure to be performed, potential complications, and recovery time. Your surgeon has questions too, which he answers by speaking with you, carefully reviewing your medical history, and evaluating test results.

  • Your surgeon may recommend a bone growth stimulator if your surgery involves operating on more than one or two levels of the spine, and/or you have risk factors known to impede bone healing.

To help you communicate with your surgeon and increase your understanding of bone growth stimulation (BGS), we encourage you to print this list and share it with your surgeon.

  • Do I have any risk factors for failed spinal fusion?
  • Could my risk factors make me a poor candidate for fusion?
  • Is there a way to control my risk factors before and after surgery?
  • What type of BGS do you recommend and why?
  • How many hours per day must I use bone growth stimulation?
  • How many weeks or months must I use the BGS?
  • What should I expect during bone growth stimulation therapy?
  • What does BGS feel like?
  • Does the type of bone growth stimulator recommended restrict activity? Can I ride in a car and go shopping?
  • How do I know if the BGS is helping my spine to fuse?
  • Can I smoke or use tobacco while using a bone growth stimulator?
  • I have a cardiac pacemaker. Does that prevent me from using a BGS?
  • Will insurance cover the cost of a bone growth stimulator?
Updated on: 04/17/15
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Patient Guide to Bone Growth Stimulation
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Patient Guide to Bone Growth Stimulation

The patients' guide explains the role of a bone growth stimulation as therapy after neck or low back spine surgery to help a spinal fusion heal. Learn how bone heals, the risk factors that may contribute to a poor or failed fusion, and questions to ask the spine surgeon.
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