Bone growth stimulation devices are worn outside the skin and do not require surgical implantation or extraction. Typically, the bone stimulator device is worn after spine fusion in two ways:
- Small, thin skin pads placed directly over the fusion site and deliver a type of electrical stimulation called Capacitive Coupling (CC).
- One or two treatment coil(s) placed into a brace or directly onto the skin that deliver a type of electromagnetic field called a Pulsed ElectroMagnetic Field (PEMF), or a Combined Magnetic Field (CMF).
Unlike an internal (implanted) bone growth stimulator, an external bone growth stimulator may also be prescribed for the patient to use several weeks or months after the fusion surgery if the bone is not fusing as desired.
Depending on the device and the patient’s situation, an external bone growth stimulator will be prescribed to be worn for a specific number of hours each day (typically within the range of 2 hours to 9 hours per day). Sometimes the patient may be allowed to break it up into several one- or two-hour sessions each day, or to vary the times that the device is worn each day, to better suit the patient’s schedule. Typically, the external bone growth stimulator will be worn for a period of 3 to 9 months following the surgery.