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  • Smoking and fusion

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    Old 10-21-2004, 12:30 PM   #1
    Join Date: May 2004
    Posts: 555
    dennisgb HB User
    Smoking and fusion

    Here is a study on cigarette smoking and spinal fusion:

    Dr. Glassman has been involved in a research project involving the effect of cigarette smoking and smoking cessation on spinal fusion.

    In his work, Dr. Glassman notes that cigarette smoking has been shown to adversely effect the spine. Smokers have a greater incidence of low back pain, earlier degenerative changes on x-ray and MRI, and diminished clinical outcomes with all types of treatments. Smoking also interferes with the healing of a spinal fusion.

    Although patients are instructed to quit smoking prior to spinal fusion surgery, no studies examine the extent to which patients follow this recommendation, or the subsequent benefit in terms of improved outcome. A study of 357 patients examined the effect of smoking cessation on fusion rates and clinical outcome following lumbar spinal fusion. The study demonstrated firstly that a significant percentage of patients did successfully quit smoking for greater than six months after surgery. The 40% who successfully quit smoking in this study compares favorably to the less than 25% who successfully quit following a standard smoking cessation program. Additionally, smoking cessation improved fusion rate. In this study, nonsmokers had a 14% nonunion rate. Patients who continued to smoke following surgery had a 26% nonunion rate; however, patients who quit smoking for greater than six months after surgery fell to a 17% nonunion rate.

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