Using a spinal bone stimulator reduces the chance of developing pseudoarthrosis, while increasing the chance a patient achieves adequate bone fusion during the healing process, according to Spine-health. Bone stimulators do not restrict a patient's movements, although a doctor may limit activities to protect the healing spine.
If a patient is at risk for poor bone fusion, a surgeon may place an internal bone stimulator inside the patient during spinal surgery, explains Spine-health. An internal bone stimulator also has a 100 percent compliance rate for patients, which ensures a patient receives every possible benefit of the treatment.
After spinal surgery, if a patient does not heal as quickly as he should, a doctor can prescribe the use of an external bone stimulator, notes Spine-health. External bone stimulators are also less expensive than internal bone stimulators. They do not require surgery to remove them, so a patient does not have the risk of another surgery or the need for a second recovery period. Surgeons sometimes remove an internal bone stimulator's battery pack with a second surgery.
Patients at risk for poor bone healing, such as people who smoke, have advanced spondylolisthesis or expect to have a multilevel spinal fusion, are more likely to use this piece of equipment, states Spine-health. Other risk factors for poor bone healing include alcoholism, diabetes, vascular disease, renal disease and osteoporosis. A doctor may also recommend a spinal bone stimulator if previous fractures healed poorly.