Things you need to know when buying an Exogen 4000+ on ebay.
There is very little information on the web, on what to look for when buying a used Exogen 4000+. I am creating this to give you some idea of what to look for when viewing a listing on ebay. If you need information on the Exogen 4000 and how it operates please go to the smith&nephew’s Exogen web-site.
First and most important:
These devices are controlled by FDA regulation. Smith&nephew will not provide any service or support on these devices that have been resold. They only provide services for the original patient, that the device was prescribed for. So what does that mean for you? It means that there are no warrantees or guarantees on these devices when purchased off of ebay. Your only protection is the sellers return policy (which you should always check) and ebay’s Buyer Protection Policy. Note, your credit card company may offer additional protections.
So with that said. You have decided to purchase one anyway. Here are the two main things that you should be looking at or asking the seller before you bid or purchase one off of ebay.
1. How many used does the display screen show being used? Why? Because the non-rechargeable battery pack is good for only a limited amount of uses!
2. How old is the device? Why? Batteries loss power over time!
Why are those two questions important?
A little history first, the Exogen 4000 is the second generation of bone healers developed by smith&nephew. The first one was the Exogen 2000, which they stopped selling around June or 2006. In 2006 the FDA gave approval to smith&nephew for the Exogen 4000. There is also an Exogen Express which has been mainly available to individuals in countries outside the United States. The only difference I know between the Exogen 4000 and the Express is that the Express comes with only one bottle of ultrasound gel.
As you realize, all devices that are powered by batteries are only good for the life of the battery. The Exogen 4000 is no different; it is power by two separate batteries. A coin sized 3.6 volt battery which is permanently attached to the circuit board. This battery is non-replaceable, if you attempt to remove it, you will destroy the circuit board. This battery powers the display screen and retaining the memory in the circuit board processor. When this battery loses power, the device is no longer useable. The second is a battery pack that contains five 3.6 volt lithium batteries, for a total of 18 volts. This battery pack can be replaced, BUT finding a replacement battery pack is almost impossible. You will not be able to find them on the store shelve at Radio Shack or any other electronics store. You will have to have one custom made, which is also hard, because of the explosive nature of lithium. This battery packs provides the power for the treatments. The other problem is determining which battery has lost power. As I said earlier, smith&nephew will only replace the battery pack for the original patient that the device was prescribed for.
So how many uses are the Exogen 4000 good for?
If you go to the smith&nephew website and download the patient’s user manual or check the Frequently Ask Questions (FAQ) PDF on their site, you will find that they say (quote):
“The Exogen device is powered by a non-replaceable, non-rechargeable lithium battery pack that delivers a minimum of 150 treatments of 20 minutes each. Most devices last much longer than 150 treatments.”
You can expect the device to be good for around 200 to 250 treatments, depending on how old it is. Some individuals state in their listing, that these devices are good for up to 400 treatments. I have not been able to find any information to confirm this. The only thing I can say is; I have never seen one listed on ebay that has been used for more 260 treatments.
So how do I tell how many treatments that have been used?
The display screen on the Exogen 4000 keeps track of the full twenty minute treatment and the partial treatments that have been used. When you turn the device on, the 1st screen shows 88:88, this is the start up test screen. The 2nd screen will show the number of full twenty minute treatments used. The 3rd screen shows the number of partial treatments used. The 4th screen has the twenty minute countdown timer: 20:00. These screens will not change unless the device is properly attached to your body.
How can I tell how old the device is?
Smith&nephew made it easy for us to tell how old the device is. The serial number! Each Exogen 4000 has a ten digit serial number; the newer ones end with an ‘E’. The first two digits of the serial number represent the month in which the device was assemble, the second two digits represent the year in which it was assembled. Example: a serial number 0610xxxxxxE would mean the device was assembled in June of 2010, a serial number 1006xxxxxx would mean the device was assembled in October of 2006. Some of the newer ones also now have two lines of number. It is the first line that you need.
Why is the Serial Number important?
Besides for determining how old the device is. There was an FDA recall on 4,129 of these devices. These devices were assembled between April of 2008 and January 2009. Not all of those assemble during that time frame were affected. If you purchase one of these, you will not be able to get it serviced. Only the original patient can return the device for a replacement.