FAQ's and Glossary of Terms

Patient or practitioner, we are here to answer your questions.

FAQ’s and Glossary of Terms2020-06-01T18:03:30-06:00
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Is this device safe to use?2020-05-25T09:31:56-06:00

Yes, the Melmak bone growth stimulator is a non-invasive treatment that does not hurt or cause any harm to the body. Most patients do not feel any sensation on the skin, while a few might experience a slight tingly feeling.

Can everyone use the device?2020-05-25T09:31:56-06:00

The device is not advised for individuals who have pacemakers. If you have a pacemaker, please consult with your doctor or cardiologist first. This device should only be used as prescribed by your health professional.

Can I use this device if I have a pacemaker?2020-05-25T09:31:56-06:00

Please see the question above. Your answer will depend on the location of the fracture. Please consult with your doctor or cardiologist.

Does insurance cover the device?2020-05-25T09:31:55-06:00

Most private insurance companies cover the cost of a bone growth stimulator. As part of our service offering, we handle insurance claims from checking on your coverage, submitting estimates, and direct billing when applicable. We also handle claims with third-party insurance companies such as MVA insurance and WSIB.

How do I know if my specific insurance covers this device?2020-05-25T09:31:55-06:00

Many insurance companies, including WCB, do cover the cost of the Melmak device. Our experienced customer service representatives would be happy to assist any patients with insurance questions.

Can I do multiple treatments in one day?2020-05-25T09:31:55-06:00

Clinical studies have proven that one single 20-minute treatment per day is effective in healing the fracture site. Multiple treatments have shown no additional benefits.

What if I have a cast?2020-05-25T09:31:55-06:00

You can still use the bone growth stimulator if you have a cast over the fracture site. A window can be cut out of the cast enabling the device to be placed on the fracture site.

When should I start treatment?2020-05-25T09:31:55-06:00

You should start treatment immediately to improve healing time, but there is no specific period of when you should or shouldn’t start treatment. If the fracture is a non-union, the bone growth stimulator can still increase the healing time.

Can I use the device over clothing?2020-05-25T09:31:55-06:00

No, the device must be in contact with the skin that surrounds the fracture site.

What is considered a non-union fracture?2020-05-25T09:31:55-06:00

Approximately 10% of all fractures will develop into a delayed or non-union fracture. When a broken bone fails to heal its call a “non-union.” Typically a fracture will be considered non-union or delayed at the 6-8 week mark from the initial fracture date or if the physician is not satisfied with the amount of healing that’s occurred over a period of time.

What does the treatment feel like?2020-05-25T09:31:55-06:00

Due to the extremely low frequency, most patients feel nothing at all.

Are there any risk factors I should know about?2020-05-25T09:31:55-06:00

There are no known contraindications for the Melmak bone growth stimulator. Worthy of note is that both safety and effectiveness have not been studied in individuals whose bones are still growing, pregnant and/or nursing women, people with pacemakers, patients with cancer or patients with poor blood circulation or clotting issues. There have been several cases (very few) where individuals are sensitive to the gel. Alternatives can be found for these individuals. It is recommended that you consult your doctor at all times.

How do I know my treatment is working?2020-05-25T09:31:55-06:00

Every Melmak device is tested and inspected to meet standards. You can rest assured that if the device is adequately charged and begins to countdown from 20:00 min to 0:00 that it is working correctly. If you have any questions or concerns, one of our CSR would be happy to assist you.

How long do I need to use this device?2020-05-25T09:31:55-06:00

Typically patients use the device until their surgeon tells them that the fracture has healed. This timeline varies depending on fracture location, severity, bone size, and other circumstances that have different effects on healing rates in individuals.

What type of fractures can this device help?2020-05-25T09:31:55-06:00

The Melmak device is indicated for the treatment of fresh bone-fractures and established non-unions. Treatment list includes:

  • Delayed and non-unions
  • Fresh fractures
  • Stress fractures
  • Repair post bone transport procedures
  • Repair post osteotomy
  • Joint fusions
  • Revision surgeries
  • Bunion surgery
  • Accelerating repair in distraction osteogenesis procedures

This list excludes the treatment of the skull and the vertebral column.

What factors prevent a fracture from healing?2020-05-25T09:31:55-06:00

Many different risk factors can affect bone healing. Some of the most common are:

  • Age
  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Concomitant medications
  • Vascular insufficiency
  • NSAID use
  • Osteoporosis
  • Fracture location (jones, clavicle, scaphoid, comminuted and butterfly factures)
  • Severity of trauma
Can I use this device if I have a pin or plate?2020-05-25T09:31:55-06:00

Melmak is safe to use with all metal fixation. Test results using significantly higher intensity ultrasound than delivered by Melmack therapy have shown no significant temperature increases and no damage or retardation of healing. The Melmak bone healing system does not affect the stability of the screws.

Are there any side effects?2020-05-25T09:31:55-06:00

There are no known contraindications for the use of the Melmak device. Some patients may be sensitive to the ultrasound gel, for those who do, alternatives can be obtained.

How does this device differ from the ultrasound device used in physio?2020-05-25T09:31:55-06:00

The Melmak device uses a very low intensity in a pulsed cycle, making it inherently safe as it is non-thermal and non-cavitating. The device has similar intensity to fetal sonography and is much lower intensity than physical therapy ultrasound.

How do I obtain a device?2020-05-26T01:14:33-06:00

Contact us to obtain a device.

Glossary of Terms

Easy to understand terms for patients.

We are here to answer your questions and make the healing process as easy to understand as possible.

CANCELLOUS BONE2020-05-25T09:31:30-06:00

Spongy, porous, lattice-like tissue within the midshaft of long bone.

CORTICAL (COMPACT) BONE2020-05-25T09:31:30-06:00

The thick outer portion of bone that surrounds the medullary (bone marrow) cavity.

FRACTURE2020-05-25T09:31:30-06:00

Any break in a bone.

NON-UNION FRACTURE2020-05-25T09:31:30-06:00

When a broken bone fails to heal without some form of intervention, it is called a non-union.

DELAYED FRACTURE or DELAYED UNION2020-05-25T09:31:30-06:00

When a fracture does not repair within the interval expected for that specific fracture.

COMMINUTED FRACTURE2020-05-25T09:31:30-06:00

Splintered or crushed bone.

COMPOUND FRACTURE2020-05-25T09:31:30-06:00

A break in a bone accompanied by an open wound in the skin; can also be called an open fracture.

COMPRESSION FRACTURE2020-05-25T09:31:29-06:00

A break in a bone resulting from compression; usually involves one or more vertebrae.

GREENSTICK FRACTURE2020-05-25T09:31:29-06:00

Condition in which a bone is partially bent and partially broken; as when a green stick breaks.

STRESS FRACTURE2020-05-25T09:31:29-06:00

A crack in the bone from overexertion placed on bone structure of limb or metatarsals and from pull of bone on muscles. Stress fractures are not normally noticeable on initial radiograph but are on later radiographs when callus formation has taken place at the sight. A bone scan or MRI would reveal a stress fracture.

IMPACTED FRACTURE2020-05-25T09:31:29-06:00

A break in a bone in which one fragment is wedged into the other.

LIPUS2020-05-25T09:31:29-06:00

Low Intensity Pulsed Ultrasound is a technology that can be used for therapeutic purposes. Produces a mechanical signal (vibration) which transmits through soft tissue and through and around the bone. This produces nano-motion at the fracture site which is detected by mechano-receptors at the cell surface. Affects a range of cells important to fracture healing.

MSK2020-05-25T09:31:29-06:00

Musculoskeletal system, also known as the locomotor system and previously the activity system is an organ system that gives humans the ability to move using their muscular and skeletal systems. Provides form, support, stability and movement to the body.

NSAIDs2020-05-25T09:31:29-06:00

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are among the most common pain relief medications in the world. NSAIDS are known to reduce swelling and inflammation, dull pain as well as lowering fever. NSAIDS work on a chemical level. They block the effects of special enzymes; specifically Cox-1 and Cox-2 enzymes. These enzymes play a key role in making prostaglandins which are like hormones. By blocking the Cox enzymes, NSAIDS stop your body from making as many prostaglandins. This means less swelling and less pain, however, it also means that they have a negative effect on bone healing.

COMORBIDITIES2020-05-25T09:31:29-06:00

The simultaneous presence of two chronic diseases or conditions in a patient.

FUSION HEALING2020-05-25T09:31:29-06:00

The surgical uniting of two bony segments.

JOINT2020-05-25T09:31:29-06:00

The point of articulation between 2 bones.

JOINT FUSION2020-05-25T09:31:29-06:00

The surgical uniting of two joints.

OSTEOTOMY2020-05-25T09:31:29-06:00

Surgical incision in a bone, usually removing a portion in order to change its alignment or to shorten it.

BONE STIMULATOR OR BONE GROWTH STIMULATOR2020-05-25T09:31:29-06:00

Bone stimulators come in a variety of shapes, sizes and technologies. The most commonly used bone stimulators in orthopedics are electrical stimulators and ultrasound stimulators. The stimulator emits a pulsed electromagnetic or ultrasonic impulse to the area where bone healing should occur. The goal of the bone stimulator is to activate a series of receptors in the body to encourage healing.

CERTIFICATE OF MEDICAL NECESSITY (COMN)2020-05-25T09:31:29-06:00

A document required by many Extended Health Insurance providers, including WCB to substantiate in detail the medical necessity of an item of durable equipment or medical service.

HIGH RISK FRACTURES2020-05-25T09:31:29-06:00

Those fractures that are at greater risk for non union. This can result either from the severity of the trauma, the location of the fracture (blood supply) and other factors.

REVISION SURGERY2020-05-25T09:32:23-06:00

Any surgical reconstruction of soft or hard tissue. A revision may be done at the time of initial trauma if damaged tissue is removed and normal structures are repositioned to compensate for that destruction. The term is more commonly used to describe a later surgical effort to reposition various tissues.

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