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What are the side effects of bone stimulation?

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Quick Answer

In most cases, there are no side effects to bone stimulation other than minor discomfort that occurs in rare instances, writes Orthofix. Numbness, tingling, headache and nausea may occur. Doctors don't recommend bone stimulation for pregnant women or children as it has not yet been tested for those demographics. They also don't recommend bone stimulation for consumers with cardiac pacemakers as the electromagnetic pulsing may have adverse effects on some pacemaker brands.

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Full Answer

Bone stimulation, or osteogenesis, is a non-invasive way to treat bone injuries that are not yet healed or are having trouble healing fully, says Orthofix. A bone stimulation device emits low-level electromagnetic pulses on the bone injury location, promoting natural bone growth and fusion.

Bone injuries, meaning broken, cracked or severed bones, often have trouble healing quickly or completely due to a variety of natural causes, warns Orthofix. Prescribed bone stimulation easily reverses this frequent condition, known as nonunion. Doctors also prescribe bone stimulation to spinal fusion patients as a way to accelerate the vertebra fusion process.

Bone stimulation works because it mimics the body's natural healing process, explains Orthofix. When a bone is cracked or broken, it emits a low-frequency electrical pulse. This pulse makes an electrical field that stimulates blood flow and new bone growth to heal the injury. A bone stimulation device emits an electromagnetic pulse similar to the one in the body, thereby boosting bone healing.

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