Interesting articles on failed back surgery and smoking

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Chutz
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Date Joined Jan 2005
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   Posted 2/20/2011 12:09 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi all~~

While I was awake last night trying to entertain myself online I was looking for information about spinal surgery for a member. I stumbled across an article that talked about spinal surgery in smokers. It was something I hadn't seen before so I looked further and it seems the medical community is in agreement on it. What the research shows is that spinal surgery to reduce pain for smokers will routinely fail. Sort of surprised me! Below are links and portions of articles that explain.

I'm not putting this out here to shame or discourage anyone who smokes. Lord knows I have my vices too, but if it helps someone who's suffering from back pain and who is considering or has already had surgery, this might offer some helpful information.

Chutz

www.spineuniverse.com/treatments/surgery/cigarette-smoking-its-impact-spinal-fusions

Cigarette Smoking and Failed Fusion
Certain factors have been found to affect the success of spinal fusion. Some of these factors include the patient's age, underlying medical conditions (e.g. diabetes, osteoporosis), and cigarette smoking. There is growing evidence that cigarette smoking adversely affects fusion. Smoking disrupts the normal function of basic body systems that contribute to bone formation and growth. As mentioned previously, new bone growth is necessary for a fusion to heal.

Research has demonstrated that habitual cigarette smoking leads to the breakdown of the spine to such a degree that fusion is often less successful when compared to similar procedures performed on non-smokers. In a study of patients undergoing anterior cervical fusion (fusion of the neck), it was observed that smokers had an increased rate of nonunion (up to 47%) as compared to non-smokers.1

Another study evaluated tobacco use in patients who underwent lumbar (low back) fusion. The patients who smoked had failed fusions in up to 40% of cases, compared to only 8% among non-smokers.2 Similar findings have been reported in other studies as well.


other links of interest:

http://vancouver-top-doctor.com/?p=41

http://www.dkneuro.com/2009/11/2009-great-american-smokeout/

http://www.pmrehab.com/fbss.htm
Moderator on the Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain forums
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Chartreux
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   Posted 2/20/2011 12:32 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you Chutz, it was an interesting find.
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misterkatamari
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 374
   Posted 2/20/2011 12:47 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for sharing, very informative. One more reason to ditch that poison.

Although I hope it doesn't carry over as much for second hand smoke, or I may be in for some problems!

straydog
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Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16793
   Posted 2/20/2011 5:07 PM (GMT -6)   
Chutzie, yes many of the the surgeons here in my area will not do fusions unless the patient stops smoking. They have been doing this since the early 80's long before they ever put hardware in people. Back then the drs said the studies showed smoking decreased the healing of the fusion a great deal and this is why they required the smokers to stop before doing any surgery. They also use to implant a small stimulator on the people having a lumbar fusion that was suppose to help sped up the healing process of the fusion. One year post op they removed the stimulator. Thanks for posting this.
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Scarred_for_life
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Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 1560
   Posted 2/21/2011 6:14 AM (GMT -6)   
Actually, this is very true. I know some of you may be thinking but Scarred....you ARE one of those that smoke. And yes that is true or at least was true when I did all three of my surgeries. I wonder if because of this my surgery was doomed to fail. The only thing that my neuro said was that smoking would slow down the bone growth and also that with smokers they have found that surgeries are slow to heal because of the reduced blood flow rate that is exibited in us.

Now, this being said, my sister has been told that IF she chooses to do the fusion surgery on S1-L5 on her back, that the ortho won't touch her unless she quits smoking. She has a lot of stress in her life and uses this as a crutch for not to quit. She also has been diagnoised with chronic bronchitis and you'd think that she would quit with that reason alone. But nope...even that doesn't stop her.

I'm so glad I can say that I am 2 days without tobacco!!

Hugs

Scarred
I live to "Tame My Pain!" 

Screaming Eagle
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Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 5005
   Posted 2/21/2011 9:27 AM (GMT -6)   
 
      Ut OH! Confession time!
 
          My surgeon also said he would not do my fusion unless I stopped smoking. I did and stayed that way for 10 weeks after my surgery, then I went to a mens steak feed, and somehow a cig found it's way into my hand. I started off slow, but as of today, I sorry to say, that I'm up to pre surgery levels.
 
        My plan is to stop again here shorty, but it is not easy to do as many of you already know. I don't chew gum either as it sets off my TMJ.
 
 SE wink

Scarred_for_life
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Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 1560
   Posted 2/21/2011 11:49 AM (GMT -6)   
SE;

I am using the e-cig to keep the demons from my mind. It does help and you can get it without the nicotine.
I live to "Tame My Pain!" 

Screaming Eagle
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Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 5005
   Posted 2/21/2011 12:08 PM (GMT -6)   
 
      Hello Chartreux!
 
            I made a second attempt to get off of them recently with an eletronic cig, and found that I had smoked the equivalent of five packs of cigs in one night! smhair   My lungs felt horrible the next morning! shakehead
 
      My Bad! I should have known better, but it ruined it for me, and after waiting a couple of days went back to the same old thing. It's funny but I hate to smoke! I have never liked the taste of them and the smell it puts on you. It seems to calm my nerves though.
 
        I even tried the Chantax (dont know if it is spelled right) when I got to the blue pill, it made me sick and I stopped that as well. I think I'm best off to go cold turkey! smilewinkgrin
 
             I will let you know when I get it done. Hopfully it will be soon.
 
  SE

tmjpain
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Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 2024
   Posted 2/21/2011 2:55 PM (GMT -6)   

 

             I know you can do it Michael. You will feel so much better!!

 


SUZANE

One day at a time!!

Scarred_for_life
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Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 1560
   Posted 2/21/2011 3:03 PM (GMT -6)   
SE:

I am sorry that the E-cig didn't work. Geez you went through 2 1/2 of those a day? Holy moly that's a lot! I am only going through one every two days and pretty proud of myself. Yeah, the chantix didn't work for me either. Good luck with Cold Turkey hun!

Hugs

Scarred
I live to "Tame My Pain!"

grandmaroses
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Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 1355
   Posted 2/21/2011 4:27 PM (GMT -6)   
What a great post, I require fusion and I had no idea that smoking could have interferred with it working. I am so glad that after more than 30 years and a pack to pack and a half day habit that with the help of champix I have been able to stop smoking. I have not had a puff for 55 days and btw champix make me ill as well so I stopped taking that as well.
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