As of yesterday, I'm the proud owner of a new bone stimulator. I haven't had my bones stimulated in years.
Just what exactly does this thing do? It emits ultrasonic waves over the fracture site. These waves deliver mechanical pressures to the bone tissues in order to promote bone growth. They do not help in situations where there is a significant gap in the fracture, like my fibula. But this should help with the tibia fracture now that I have a piece of my pelvis filling in the large gap.
The device still sounds like magic, but there are studies that show improved healing when these devices are used correctly. According to one of the research papers I found on Google Scholar,
"Although regarded with skepticism by many physicians, there is abundant evidence from clinical studies of the effectiveness of these treatments. In addition to dozens of retrospective reports, randomized, prospective, double-blind controlled trials have shown the efficacy of electrical stimulation for nonunion and ultrasound for speeding healing."
How do you use a bone stimulator correctly? I have to wear it for 30 minutes every day for about three months. I picked 9:00PM as my scheduled treatment time. The representative I met with at the doctor's office recommended I do the treatment at the same time every day in order to ensure I don't miss a treatment.
Speaking of representatives, I ran into the Apligraf representative at the clinic yesterday. She recognized me and looked at my ankle in amazement. I had to explain to her that we destroyed her product.
The package that it comes in makes it look like it's extremely expensive. That's because it is. It costs over $4,000. Fortunately my insurance covered 90%. At some point I need to add up the costs of my injury.
This is the controller. It's extremely easy to use. You just press and hold the button to turn it on. It's pre-programmed for a 30 minute treatment.
The transducer is small enough to fit underneath my external fixator. This is the smallest model they make. At first, I was going to be provided with a much larger device. That's why I didn't receive my stimulator right after my surgery.
Yesterday was my first day out in public with my external fixator. I got a ton of odd looks from people. Several curious people asked me what happened. I'll be honest, I was getting tired of telling the story after the fifth or sixth time. I need to come up with a fast way to tell the story, or maybe come up with a new accident to make it interesting.