The Dangerous Connection between Smoking and Orthopedic Surgery

Smoking is bad for the health, we all know that. We also know the specifics, concerning smoking and lung cancer and a myriad of other cancers. In a recent research, doctors added another condition associated with smoking. Let’s take a look at what it is.

Among the many evils associated directly with smoking, it was found out that smoking is also detrimental to the health of bone and connective tissue. In short, the American Academy of

Orthopedic Surgeons has deemed smoking to be the culprit responsible for poor surgery results in even the most common orthopedic procedures.

Smokers Are More Likely To Experience Complications with Common Surgical Procedures

This means that patients who undergo even common orthopedic surgical procedures such as hip smoking-300x199replacement, fracture repairs, etc, won’t benefit as much as non-smoker patients will. According to a study conducted by the AAOS, smoker patients who undergo hip replacement surgery have a much higher surgery revision rate as compared to non-smoker patients.

Orthopedic specialists at the Mount Sinai Hospital reviewed the past record for all hip replacement surgeries that were performed at the hospital between the years 2007 and 2009. According to the findings, 110 were either former or current tobacco users, roughly 55 years of age. This set was compared to another group, but of non-smokers. The results were shocking at best.

Required: Do-over Surgery

It was found out that nearly 8% of patients who smoked were required to undergo a surgery revision, within only 46 months of the original procedure. In stark contrast were the 1% who didn’t require a revision and who were non-smokers.

In fact, 5 of the patients in the group who smoked had to undergo the surgical revision due to the risk of infection, while four revisions were carried out to help address the pain and component loosening of the surgical procedure.    

Moreover, patients undergoing the orthopedic surgical procedure were asked to assess their levels of pain during the entirety of treatment, in a subjective manner. The results were as expected.

As compared to smokers, patients who didn’t smoke experience far less pain, irrespective of age. Another important thing to note is that smokers who quit sometime during the treatment, experienced a significant reduce in pain as compared to those who continued this habit during the treatment.

A Greater Risk of Fracture Complications

It was also found out by the study that the risks associated with smoking were particularly enormous when it comes to fracture repair procedures. A negative effect could be derived from smoking on such procedures as well as a prolonged recovery time was incumbent following the surgery as compared to non- smokers going through the same.

The report, which was based on the data collected from 18 case studies in total, between the years 1993 and 2011, represented nearly 6,480 patients undergoing fracture repair surgery, out of which 1,457 were smokers at the time of their surgery. This shows how much extensive the data collected was, which gives no reason or room for doubt as to the detrimental effects of smoking on the musculoskeletal system. It’s suggested by specialists that, prior to undergoing orthopedic surgery for any condition, patients should go through a smoker’s cessation program, and only then have the surgery.

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