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Deactivated Bone Growth Stimulator Answered

I have a CMF bone growth stimulator that no longer works. These devices are set to die after so many uses. Does anyone have any ideas on how to reactivate these units? Or, hacking these things for another purpose?


I reactivated one. Since they wanted $1600 without insurance and $800 with insurance I bought 2 different ones on ebay and tried. The orthofix model, once the round battery was removed, just kept beeping. It wanted a program installed. I used the Spinal logic brand instead. First get a magnetic field app on your phone to test it. It'll jump in the hundreds if it's working. The Spinalogic has a curly wire going to the control unit. I removed the control unit and cut all the wires. I soldered a 9 volt battery adapter onto the red and black wires. Those are the only 2 wires you need to worry about. The rest are for programming. Now put a battery on the connector and test with the magnetic field sensor you downloaded onto your phone. If it says 40-60 try soldering the wires reversed. Otherwise it should jump to 300 or so. You'll have to take the battery off when not using it. In my opinion magnetic fields like these cause cancer but my doctor wants me to wear one so my bone fusion heals. Talk to your doctor about it.

I just did this 12/6/16 - Simply removed all 4 screws opened unit. The battery is in fact connected to two different metal pieces, I just lifted up on it with a screw driver (under the battery but NOT under the metal piece connecting to the main board. It just popped off with a little pressure. It did not FULLY reset for me though, at first I could not use it at all. Now I have 160 uses left out of 238. I believe disconnecting the battery simply reset the "9 month then dead issue", but did not fully reset the previous uses. Thank OP for this thread it saved me a headache and made me some money, I picked up a size 2 and a size 3 OL1000 "DONJOY BRAND" for $7 at a garage sale...Look out Ebay hehehehe

I did the same, it gave the usage count and then a smiley face but does not start a session. Does your actually work?

is yours still working after the hack?

Hey Trent, I followed your instructions and my numbers did reset (not the full amount) but when I push to actually activate it, the 30 min countdown doesn't start. Are you able to activate yours and receive a treatment?

Hey Trent - I picked up a Donjoy OL1000 too, but I'm not having luck with the reset. It sounds like you didn't have success at first; what finally got it to work?

if you remove the four screws on the control unit, you will see a battery spot welded into a holder. That battery holds the clock data and counters. I broke the bottom weld loose with a thin blade. Once disconnected, it forgot that 270 days had gone by. Seems to be working now. The timer is counting down.

We may have different units. However, I opened mine and attached a couple of photos here, where you can see the battery connector; as well, the CMOS/disc battery to the left. From your description, it's not clear this applies here. Could you comment? Thanks!


All I did was separate the battery from it's hosting using a small screw driver. Reset the unit just fine. Now it may expire in 270 but it will be sold long before that.

We remove the battery and only shows the previous information of the times used and left and then a smiley face. What else should we do?

That is how mine looks. The battery with "129E" on it is the culprit.

With very sharp cutters, if you can clip it free, you will reset the time clock to Day 1. As long as it stays disconnected, it doesn't run up the clock. It does still count the number of times used, though.

I disconnected this battery but now the unit won’t go into the treatment mode. It turns on and says the count and beeps then shuts back off.

We removed the battery but still does not work, just gives the count 16/271 then smiley face. It does not go into timer countdown. What do we do now?

So if we disconnect this battery and it can't track the time, but can still count number of times used, it sounds like there may still be a problem using the unit beyond X uses. This suggests it has NVRAM somewhere that is holding this figure.

yes, there must be an NVRAM somewhere. What I don't know is if it will reset at 127 or quit. Only time will tell on that.

Thanks for posting this! Rather than cutting anything, I separated the battery from the board with a soldering iron and the pin connected to the negative side of the battery. I soldered it back in place a minute later and it worked perfectly.

Hi there-- I have one of these and am trying to follow your instructions. I see two screws at the bottom of the control unit where the cord comes in. I've unscrewed those two but CANNOT seem to get the control unit open. Where are the other two screws? Thanks!

The two top screws are under the sticky label. You can either remove it (I did) or just cut holes to access the screw heads. Use finger pressure to locate the indentations.

Curious if this is the same brand I posted above. Would you be able to post a photo?

I already assembled and didn't think to take pictures. You can't miss the battery holder (CR2035). Use a pair of metal snips or similar to cut out the time clock battery. Don't go "he-man" on it, though.

Just seeing this now. Thank you for replying, I will take a screwdriver to this and see if I can find this. Will post after.

I have already trashed it, but this is good to know in the future. Thanks

I have two of these for your femur and wondering what to do with them. Has anyone figured it out yet ?

Taking the disc battery out of the device reset the counter for me, but it won’t go into treatment mode. Still tinkering with it.

I just purchased one of these units, and the timer is not counting down. Are y’all still having success using y’all unit after disconnecting the round batterinside the housing?

This is the issue I made having. Got the inside battery disconnected but now the time count doesn’t start. Going to tinker around with it some more.

Thanks for the advice. Now I took mine apart and just separated the battery for a second and now system is working fine.


2 years ago

I have one of these that I wish to re-activate.

First, why do they de-activate after X treatments? That's because the providers felt they were getting ripped off by these devices being re-sold on eBay, etc.

From my perspective, my insurance paid on my behalf about 4k for this, so I do NOT accept that it's deactivated.

When bone is growing, it emits a specific magnetic signal. These units work by imitating that signal.

I included an image of the internal/battery/port side of the control unit. This is made by DONJOY called a "CMF". That port above the 9v battery looks clearly like a computer connection (maybe serial). I don't dare take it apart yet. But I wonder if someone here might know how to access this unit and remove the restriction/disable/block.


it quits after 9 months...mine cost $3500.00 USD

behind the battery is a ten pin receptacle...find a brainiack....me no clue


2 years ago

Ok guys I picked up one of these things for nothing at a goodwill. Behind the battery port is the communication port. It seems to be a 10-pin unidirectional connection.

The data logging is most likely rudimenturay, if any. This port most likely just resets the days available and timer lock.

Configuration wise I can take the controller aparts and see what leads where and what different electronics are in there. Perhaps there are clues as to what protocol it uses and how to read it.

Let us say there are most likely two configurable settings. One will be how many of the 270 days are available, and what the timer-lock is for allowing sessions (12H, 24H). I'm not sure if there are any other configurations becaues I do not have the manual with it.

Bone Stimulator was supplied by my VA. I was surprised when they told me they did not want it back.

It is probably a pretty sophisticated device, unless you are some kind of RF electronics engineer it might be difficult to repurpose it for something useful. Harvesting parts may not get you much either.

Why on earth would they be designed to switch off? These things cost hundreds of dollars at minimum, building in a shut-down is an obscene waste.

Just browsing around it seems these are medical devices prescribed by a doctor to assist in the healing of some bone fracture. The are meant to jumpstart the healing process specific for an individual patient and to be monitored by the doctor for progress. It is programmed for the expected "therapy" period and then cuts off, presumably to be returned to the equipment supplier and reprogrammed. I think there is more fun to be had and cheaper in hacking a microwave oven.