In order to facilitate the healing of spinal fusion surgery in some patients, Dr. Blankenship will sometimes prescribe the use of the Orthofix Spinal-Stim® Bone Growth Stimulator.
The Spinal-Stim is a safe, nonsurgical treatment that uses a very low-strength pulsed electromagnet field (PEMF) to activate the body’s natural healing process.
Electrical currents have been used to heal bones for more than 150 years, but it wasn’t until the 1950s that scientists discovered that a low-level electrical field activates the body’s internal repair mechanism which, in turn, stimulates bone healing. Initially used to stimulate the healing process in long bone fractures, the treatment soon began to be used following spinal fusion surgeries. Results have shown that when Spinal-Stim is used, fusion success can be increased.
The Spinal-Stim device works by generating a low-level magnetic signal at the fusion site to stimulate normal bone healing process which may be impaired or absent. Since it began being used, over 265,000 patients have safely worn the device. Lightweight, adjustable, and comfortable, the Spinal-Stim device can be worn alone or over a back brace. It’s powered by a rechargeable battery, which allows the unit to be portable.
If Dr. Blankenship believes the Spinal-Stim would be helpful to you, he will prescribe a daily therapy schedule for a certain number of hours a day during your treatment. The length of time you wear the device will depend upon your individual risk factors, such as smoking, multi-level fusion, and graft type, as well as your compliance in wearing the Spinal-Stim. Dr. Blankenship will closely monitor your healing process. On average, most patients wear the device between three and nine months.