Cigarettes are bad to the bone!
In a recent report published he Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery, cigarette smoking was found to decrease the bone mineral density and increase the chance of fracture or injury to muscle tendons.
Cigarette smoking was also found to have other adverse affects on our bones and to be responsible for surgical complications. It was responsible for delayed fracture and soft tissue healing and increased infections.
The good news is that the same researched revealed at least partial reversal with long term smoking cessation.
So what does this mean to our patients? If smoking has the potential to slow the healing process tissues after surgery: logically, it has the potential to slow the healing process of the injured ligaments and muscles that are associated with most injuries or pain syndromes. This can contribute to prolonged pain, slower recovery and increase the cost of your care. In short, if you smoke, please quit!
Lee JJ et al. – Cigarette smoking decreases bone mineral density and increases the risk of sustaining a fracture or tendon injury, with partial reversibility of these risks with long–term cessation of smoking. Cigarette smoking increases the risk for perioperative complications, nonunion and delayed union of fractures, infection, and soft–tissue and wound–healing complications. Brief preoperative cessation of smoking may mitigate these perioperative risks. Informed–consent discussions should include notification of the higher risk of perioperative complications with cigarette smoking and the benefits of temporary cessation of smoking.