Health technology reviews

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Bone growth stimulators

Status: Decision completed

View findings and decision

Topic summary

Concerns about the safety and effectiveness regarding whether Bone Growth Stimulation provides equivalent or superior health outcomes compared to treatment without stimulators. Bone Growth Stimulation is the technique of promoting bone growth in difficult to heal fractures or in areas trying to be fused by applying a low electrical current or ultrasound to the fracture. The theoretical advantage of these devices is that they apply a direct electric current to the fracture 24 hours a day. A disadvantage of implantable and semi-implantable stimulators is that their implantation is a surgical procedure with attendant risks.

Primary criteria ranking

  • Safety = Low
  • Efficacy = High
  • Cost = Medium

Assessment timeline

  • Draft report published:  July 10, 2009
  • Public comment period:  July 10 - 24, 2009 
  • Final report published:  July 31, 2009 
  • HTCC public meeting:  August 28, 2009