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Bonebridge disappointment!


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When I met with my audiologist. There was a representative from med el on two occasions. I just feel like I’m becoming annoying to them. So I don’t call for anymore help. 

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@John Ford

I am sorry to hear that.  I had a problem switching from ASM 1 to ASM 2 with my CIs.  It was very frustrating.  And it confused a lot of professionals.  But I am blessed with an audiologist who believes me and is willing to keep working on things until we get everything sorted out.  That frustrating period took a long time and a lot of appointments and a lot of reaching out for help.  I am glad I kept going back because in the end we did figure it out and things got so much better.

Kevin is a BoneBridge user himself so in addition to working for Med-El he has personal experience with listening with BoneBridge and using Samba and Samba2Go.  If you ever want to reach out to him, I am sure Med-El North America can help you.  There are also BoneBridge virtual meetings online.  Think about joining in.


I wish you the best.

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And here is a link for US/Canada I believe online meetings for BoneBridge in case you are interested.  @John Ford


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  • 7 months later...
On 3/12/2019 at 7:11 PM, Royshaw said:

I have had single side deafness since childhood (I’m 75 years of age) and had Bonebridge installed approximately 5 years ago.

Despite many visits to my very helpful audiologist and two consultations with Med el representatives  the Bonebridge has been a disappointment with no appreciable improvement in my hearing. I’ve read the  feedback in this forum - no negatives of which I’m aware. Is there anyone out there who have had a similar experience to me? 


Yes read my post above.  Same poor results as a 67 yr old new SSD person 

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On 7/13/2019 at 2:21 PM, Steven said:

Good Day,  I just joined the hearpeers forum and came upon this topic.  I had my Bonebridge implanted March 26th of this year and received my Samba unit shortly after.  To date I am also very disappointed it the results.  I have been back to my audiologist 3 times for adjustments.  The last time with a Med-El Rep present.  My Main issue is that I see no benefit from the unit when I am in noisy environments.  Also when there is any ambient noise in the room (others talking, TV/Radio playing, machine running, etc) I can not clearly hear or understand the person I am talking with. In calm low noise environments It is slightly better.  I do have very loud Tinnitus in my bad ear.  I met with my Surgeon (Post OP) yesterday and discussed this with him as well.  As I have a slight loss of hearing certain ranges in my good ear, he suggested that I discuss, with the Audiologist, the possibility of a hearing aid in my good ear to help in noisy environments.  I am schedule to go back to my Audiologist July 31st.  They are also requesting a Med-El Rep to be present.

I agree with disappointing results after 4-6 visits with the audiologist and expressing my frustration with my doctor. 

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I spent over 6 years using a different brand of bone conduction device but perhaps my experience can help. 

I too have sensorineural SSD so the bone conduction device was routing the sound to my good cochlea. 

This meant that the main benefit I got from the BC device was reducing the head shadow effect.  I would use it whenever I went to big meetings or complex social situations when I didn't want to stress over dealing with people on my bad side.

On the other hand, these were my disappointments:

  • It did not help with my tinnitus. (My bad ear was still not really providing a signal so the brain was over amplifying.)
  • Since it was effectively monaural, no benefit in sound location.
  • No benefit in filtering background noise for the same reason as above.
  • I had a "through the skin" abutment and I had constant skin scabbing. (Wife was not happy about blood stains on the pillow!) Of course this wouldn't be an issue for the BoneBridge.

These disappointments likely would have been decreased if I had a conductive hearing loss instead of sensorineural.  In that case, it would have just been by-passing my the outer ear and using a good inner ear so stereo hearing would have been possible.

CI was only FDA approved for SSD a couple of years ago so a bone conduction device was essentially the best option for all SSD users.  Now perhaps they can be more selective and recognize that it is unlikely to be as beneficial to people with sensorineural SSD.

After 6 years, I ended up going through with a cochlear implant surgery.

There were some reasons for why it was a reasonable path of trying a bone conduction device like the Bone Bridge made sense for me:

  • Feeling like I gave less invasive treatment options a fair shot before doing CI so I felt more comfortable going through with CI.
  • Wait for technology & treatment options to improve (CI tech has improved so what I have implanted is a little better now.)
  • CI wasn't an option (as demonstrated by my many insurance rejection letters

For example, people doing a bone conduction device now might see some interesting things come along in the future. A bone conduction device leaves the cochlea intact for a future cochlear implant or gene therapy. 

While I still have the bottom portion of my Titanium abutment flush to my skull - my cochlear implant surgeon was able to find a good placement for the cochlear implant.  The six year side trip of a bone conduction device didn't really cause any problem. 

In hindsight, I think I would have preferred a BoneBridge over my abutment because of the daily skin irritation but given my sensorineural hearing loss, it still probably couldn't have done anything to address my "disappointments" listed above. Maybe it would have given me a couple more years before making the switch to a CI.

This was a longer post than I expected but thought it might help others with their journeys.



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