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Jimbo
12-19-2009, 12:14 AM
I am a smoker, but a very light one. On average I would smoke about 1 or 2 cigarettes a week. I have given up altogether, but last night had a few at a party. I know smoking and fusion is contraindicated, but was wondering why this is. In my research I found that nicotine is a vasoconstrictor, which can impinge on wound healing.

I was wondering if anybody knew of how cigarettes directly impact on bone growth.

Merry Christmas!

txmarinemom
12-19-2009, 12:47 PM
Your body has specialized cells (osteoblasts) that constantly form new bone (the process of osteogenesis): It also has cells (osteoclasts) that constantly destroy older bone.

Under optimal circumstances, your body makes bone quickly enough to replace what you naturally lose.

Smoking retards osteoblasts, and in turn, osteogenesis. The osteoclasts aren't affected by nicotine, and continue to eat bone at the same rate.

Quite simply, bone cells aren't being produced quickly/efficiently enough to overcome the loss - and fusion is seriously threatened. Smoking is said to be the #1 risk factor for pseudoarthrosis.

Aside from fusion threat, smoking lowers your immunity; it's been linked to an increased risk of post-op infection.

I quit (after almost 25 years) in Sept. 2006, and I know it's tough. Personally, I wouldn't even consider fusion if I smoked at ALL. It's debatable whether a few cigarettes would have any impact on surgery success, but if you're down to that few you might as well quit. It's a mental thing at that point ... certainly not nicotine dependence.

There are all kinds of advantages to ditching the habit, but I'm sure you know all that. :) Hang tough and just kick it.

Pam

Jimbo
12-19-2009, 09:58 PM
Thankyou Pam

crushed my pack today