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Bone Growth Stimulator

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ke5frf

New Member
OK, so I broke my collar bone in a motorcycle accident about three months ago and the bone refuses to heal, so my insurance recently approved a "Bone Growth Stimulator" treatment.

Evidently, the technology is fairly inexpensive and because the therapy is a long process (several months) it is more cost effective to just purchase these devices for the patient instead of rental.

So I am the proud owner of a "Bone Growth Stimulator" which uses ultrasound to stimulate bone repair.

After my collar bone is healed it will either become a paperweight or a neat project to experiment with.

Any ideas? My first thought was to buy some ponies and attempt UNICORN mass production, but PETA concerns may prevent this idea. :eek:
 

Mickster

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
As a slight aside, I was once privy to a conversation where a young lady asked where the bone came from, during an erection....:eek:
 

gabeNC

Member
Nice Harvey! hahaha. Anybody see that "Family guy" episode when Quagmire found out about internet porn?
 

Mr RB

Well-Known Member
Clavicles will knit and heal with a few days. At 3 months its not good, sounds like yours has already knitted over but not joined. It probably requires an operation and pinning etc. Hasn't your doctor already told you this?
 

ke5frf

New Member
Clavicles will knit and heal with a few days. At 3 months its not good, sounds like yours has already knitted over but not joined. It probably requires an operation and pinning etc. Hasn't your doctor already told you this?

Thanks for the question.
But the stimulator device wasn't something I bought willy-nilly on my own, it was purchased by my insurance company at the request of my doctor. My understanding was that the PURPOSE of such devices was to avoid surgery in this very type of case, and that failure of the bones to fuse after several months was the reason for using such therapy. In fact, it was my understanding that insurance won't typically approve it until the bone has demonstrated reluctance to heal for X amount of time, and that this was the next step BEFORE surgery.

Are you a doctor? Am I missing or misunderstanding something?
 

Nigel Goodwin

Super Moderator
Most Helpful Member
Clavicles will knit and heal with a few days. At 3 months its not good, sounds like yours has already knitted over but not joined. It probably requires an operation and pinning etc. Hasn't your doctor already told you this?

A old friend of mine used to work at a slaughter house, and one of the bulls managed to 'get him' - I suppose you can see the bulls point?.

Anyway, the Police were called to shoot the bull, and my friend was rescued.

His major injury was a broken collarbone, and 12 months later every time he moved the ends of the bone still rubbed together. Everytime he went to the hospital, they talked about the possibility of pinning or plating it, but apparently it was very thin where it was broken, and he would need to see the 'consultant' to see if it was possible. He pointed out, every time, that the appointment he came for was with the consultant, so why wasn't he there?.

I'm not sure what happened in the end, but as far as I know he's OK now - but his hobby/sport was some kind of cross country horse riding, and he was told he'd never do that again (not if he had any sense).
 

stevez

Active Member
2 years ago I had back surgery (fusion of L3 to S1). Hardware was installed and scraps of my bone were laid alongside the hardware. The intent was to grow bone over the hardware and that was quite successful per xrays and the doctor's explanations.

I wore a bone growth stimulator - 30 minutes per day for 6 months - and understood that it would generate a magnetic field. The doctor explained that the success rate for my situation would be 45% without and 95% with the use of the stimulator. Success being the growth of bone where intended in the amount of time expected.

At one point I brought my Sony armband radio in close proximity to the device (while on) and it would result in terrific noise on the AM broadcast band when within a meter or less.
 

jpanhalt

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
@ke5frf
I think your original question was what to do with the bone stimulator. You've gotten some great answers to that question ;)

Regarding your treatment and rehabilitation, I suspect you have searched the web. The AAOS is a reputable source (Your Orthopaedic Connection: Broken Collarbone) and is related to the American College of Surgeons (ACS), which is the American specialty group for surgeons.

Your description of insurance sounds like you may be in the USA. There are outstanding, multi-specialty clinics throughout the US. You might be surprised by the reasonable cost of getting a second opinion, and your insurance may cover it. If you are in the US, in what general part of the country are you?

John
 

ke5frf

New Member
I am in Louisiana. I am going to one of the more reputable orthopedic clinics in Baton Rouge.

I am certainly considering a second opinion. LOL I wasn't expecting this thread to go this route but I do want this thing to heal so educating myself is a good thing.

A little background: I believe the reason the bone didn't heal properly is because of an unfortunate chain of events. I have an infant at home, and at the time he was only a few weeks old. A few days after I had the accident, my wife ALSO had to have some inpatient treatment which required her to be away from home for over a week.

I had the fracture immobilized with a sling and figure 8 strap, but taking care of the baby required me to use both arms at times. He was very light, but only days after the break it was quite difficult to pick him up without using both arms.

We had nobody else to help out, my family lives out of town in another state and her family is basically only her mother and that is, ummm, a complicated situation.

So I was left on my own to care for myself and the baby. I do think the fracture healed at the ends without fusing during this time. I'm sure I aggrevated the healing process.

Anyhow, at this point I'm not sure what a second opinion would do. The doctor I am using wants to treat this non-surgically at this point and I am "all for that". There is no pain and little discomfort as long as I wear the figure 8 strap. The sling is no longer neccessary according to the physician. I am working and managing well at this point. I'm willing to give a non-invasive therapy a try, and from what I have read this can be successful with proper application of the technique.

Am I getting bad information?
 

Nigel Goodwin

Super Moderator
Most Helpful Member
I had the fracture immobilized with a sling and figure 8 strap, but taking care of the baby required me to use both arms at times. He was very light, but only days after the break it was quite difficult to pick him up without using both arms.

It's not really suprising it's not healed then - I understand your problem, but a broken collar bone isn't going to heal very well if you keep using it.

When my mother was a little girl she fell out of a tree and broke her collar bone, back then (1940's?) they treated it with a huge plastercast covering the entire torso and the affected shoulder and upper arm. Perhaps a little overkill, but now they just seem to rely on luck?.
 

jpanhalt

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
Am I getting bad information?

That question can't be answered on a forum such as this.

However, a responsible surgeon should always consider non-surgical approaches first. I suspect a second opinion at this time would concur with your current physician, but of course the physician would have to examine you and do additional studies before coming to that conclusion. The question is what is the natural history of non-union of a clavicle in a relative young man and is there a point at which surgical intervention is made more difficult or less satisfactory because of the delay.

You might consider just putting those questions to your current physician, if you have not already.

Here is a link to an interesting article on the subject:
https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/410427

Good luck.

John
 

Wahoo

New Member
To Ke5frf about your bone growth stimulator

I am inquiring about the model; type etc. of your stimulator. My husband needs one for his femur. Bad break and not healing, so rather than turning into a paper weight we may want to purchase it. Complications with insurance, etc. means it's just easier for us to by a used one and stop this ridiculous waiting game.
 

ke5frf

New Member
I'm sorry, at the moment I am just starting the therapy and have a few months to go before this thing becomes a paperweight. But if you are still interested a few months from now, keep in touch.
 

Wahoo

New Member
Ke5frf Thank you for replying

Thank you for replying so quickly. Our best for your healing and may you and your family enjoy a healthy, safe and splendid life. Blessings,
Mary
 
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