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  • Smoking and ACDF

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    Old 04-05-2007, 11:26 AM   #1
    souffoue
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    Smoking and ACDF

    I am scheduled for surgery on May 21. I have to admit I am absolutely terrified.

    I noticed in the instructions they gave me they suggested you quit smoking a week before surgery or at least 24 to 48 hours before surgery. I was just wondering of those of you who have had the surgery and are/were smokers - did you smoke before? Did you quit before the surgery? If not, did you quit after the surgery?

    Sorry for all the different posts - as I said I am very scared about the surgery and I am sure I will have a ton more questions as the days go by.

    Last edited by souffoue; 04-05-2007 at 11:27 AM.

     
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    Old 04-05-2007, 12:47 PM   #2
    ~Ro
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    Re: Smoking and ACDF

    Soufou, I quit smoking, after 30 years of smoking, 2 weeks prior to the surgery with the help of the pharmaceutical, Chantix. I wrote a letter on it before, just click on my name to read it on this board. It was the easiest way I've ever tried, (& I've tried them all) to quit. I had the ACDF on 1/23 and have not smoked since nor do I crave a cigarette, still taking Chantix that takes the cravings away. :-)

    Don't worry, you'll pull through the operation & healing OK but I would get off the butts before hand. You have time to do it, but get the ball rolling, most insurance companies have to preauthorize the use of Chantix because it's so new.

    Good luck
    ~Ro

     
    Old 04-05-2007, 01:10 PM   #3
    souffoue
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    Re: Smoking and ACDF

    Thanks Ro. I know it is going to be hard. I will check with my dr. about Chantix.

     
    Old 04-05-2007, 03:59 PM   #4
    BobM
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    Re: Smoking and ACDF

    One of the decisions for ACDF is whether to harvest some of your own bone (from the edge of the pelvis, I think) or to use donor bone as a graft (there are also some who use things like cages and artificial agents to promote fusing, but those seem to be in the minority of what people talk about here). My surgeon indicated that he would almost never recommend harvesting your own bone, since there is but a slight margin of difference in fusion rates. He said that there are some health conditions where he would want to harvest bone (instead of using the donor bone), and said heavy or long-time smokers might not expect the same success as non smokers in general, and would recommend harvesting bone for smokers. I ended up with the donor bone (I am a non smoker), and I've fused successfully (C4/5/6/7) with two ACDFs, and did not have to endure the additional pain and recovery from the additional incision in the hip area.

     
    Old 04-05-2007, 08:13 PM   #5
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    Re: Smoking and ACDF

    Ok, let me ask you a hypothetical. What if a person smokes like 2 cigarettes per month. Should one worry about fusion issues? How about smoking 1 cigarette days before surgery? Tx!

     
    Old 04-05-2007, 08:33 PM   #6
    quilter58
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    Re: Smoking and ACDF

    I smoked before surgery .....an hour before.....long time smoker.....i was in the hospital for 5 days .....I used my own bone.....I did not crave a smoke in the hospital like I thought I would......using my own bone only created discomfort for about a week to 10 days.....no serious pain except for the first 2 days........I smoked after I got out of the hospital and continue to do so because I can not quit..........had my ACDF surgery Jan24 of this year.....I am 10 weeks out and had my 1st xray yesterday and I am making bone and fusing ........my doctor did not believe smoking has hindered anything and he would like for me to quit smoking but said I have not hurt the fusing ...........

     
    Old 04-07-2007, 07:20 AM   #7
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    Re: Smoking and ACDF

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by quilter58 View Post
    I smoked before surgery .....an hour before.....long time smoker.....i was in the hospital for 5 days .....I used my own bone.....I did not crave a smoke in the hospital like I thought I would......using my own bone only created discomfort for about a week to 10 days.....no serious pain except for the first 2 days........I smoked after I got out of the hospital and continue to do so because I can not quit..........had my ACDF surgery Jan24 of this year.....I am 10 weeks out and had my 1st xray yesterday and I am making bone and fusing ........my doctor did not believe smoking has hindered anything and he would like for me to quit smoking but said I have not hurt the fusing ...........
    That's pretty cool to have had such an uneventful experience with your surgery AND being able to stay on the butts, Quilter. I had the AFDC, C5, C6, C7 fusion with donor bone; I was not brave like you & used my own bone. I had my surgery the day before you & still have severe pain between my shoulder blades.

    I have had a sincere love affair with cigarettes for longer than anybody (besides my family I was born into) had lasted through my life. I LOVE cigarettes ... however ... I can't stop envisioning my Grandma at the kitchen table in some odd little Iowa town, after my Grandpa's funeral, her chest cavity was caved in, so she was hunched over at the table and attached to an oxygen tank due to her emphysema. She'd proudly take the oxygen mask off & smoke a butt. I can SO see myself like that, stubborn to the bitter end but despite my own stubborness have tried to quit many a time since I've been a married mother but always ended up back on them. Due to that, I'm still not out of the woods yet because I had quit before for a few months & gone back on. I've been off just about 3 months but unlike all the times I quit before, this time was EASY because the Chantix doesn't allow the nicotine fits to live in my body. So cool. Even when I smell them, I do NOT miss them, so unreal.

    I totally understand your want to stay on the cigarettes and am glad your fusion has gone well despite your smoking. I think all doctors are programmed to tell us to quit smoking, I have been told by every doctor I've seen to quit, (like I don't know the dangers). I guess this time, along with my lung capacity, (that of somebody 10 years my senior) and all the other random thoughts floating in my mind and the great reviews I've heard about Chantix, I decided to give it a serious try. One thing I have found in all my attempts, including this one, is that one must WANT to quit smoking before it can even have a chance of survival.

    I'm still on the Chantix as you are supposed to be on at least 3 months, the length of time our bodies are physically addicted to nicotine. What I liked most about this is that you smoke for the first week or so on the drug and it changes the taste of the cigarettes, making them foul. Then, you just quit when you're sick of them. It took me one week to smoke my last cigarette, down to the last one in my pack right before bed. I would think that I miss them but I really don't. I wonder if that will change when I go off the drug. I guess I won't know anytime soon.

    Happy Spring healing all,
    ~Ro

     
    Old 04-07-2007, 10:25 AM   #8
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    Re: Smoking and ACDF

    I DON'T WANT TO SMOKE.......I HATE IT ......I HAVE QUIT FOR VERY SHORT PERIODS OF TIME AND ALWAYS GO BACK.....I HAVE HAD FAMILY MEMBERS WITH SMOKING RELATED ILLNESSES......I TOLD MY DOCTOR ON WEDNESDAY.......WHY CAN'T SOMEONE COME UP WITH SOMETHING TO BREAK THE ADDICTION.........I haven't tried the CHANTIX BUT I AM GOING TO.........

    I WANT TO QUIT SMOKING........One problem I think I will have is that my husband smokes 2 packs a day and he has no desire to quit .........

    I feel I am lucky to have FUSION and a smoker.........i worried about that alot before I had my xrays..........THANK YOU FOR YOUR ENCOURAGEMENT TO STOP SMOKING ........I WILL THINK OF YOUR STRUGGLE AS WELL AS MINE......MAYBE I SHOULD BE ON THE HEALTHBOARD FOR SMOKING....

    BY THE WAY ~RO I TOO STILL HAVE SOME MUSCLE SPASMS GOING ON BETWEEN MY SHOULDER BLADES........I HAVE BEEN PAYING FOR MASSAGES, AND TAKING LOTS OF HOT BATHS......I JUST TRY NOT TO DWELL ON THE SPASMS .......IF THAT IS ALL I HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT THEN I AM DOING GOOD...........GOOD BLESSINGS TO YOU ..........

     
    Old 04-08-2007, 10:24 AM   #9
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    Re: Smoking and ACDF

    I smoked about a pack a day for 25 years. I have been quit now for 8 years. I actually still have a small craving for a smoke now and again. There are a million different ways to stop smoking. I will tell you all what worked for me. It’s hard to control the urge to smoke. Try and set very stringent rules for things that you can control. First, no smoking in the house by anyone, not you, not family members, not guests. If anyone needs to smoke go outside, day or night. No smoking in restaurants, wait until you are outside. (I love the new no smoking laws!) No smoking in your car. Avoid drinking for the first little while, alcohol lets down your resolve. Get you teeth cleaned, it really helps cause you want to keep them clean. Wash everything in your house that you can, rugs, curtains, bedding, Febreeze the rest, sprinkle baking soda in the carpets, get the smoke smell out of your house. The most important rule for me was never give up. If you fall off the wagon, that’s ok, get back on and quit all over again. It took me about 7 months to really quit with one major setback when my ex died. Stress really derails your will power. Good luck!

     
    Old 04-08-2007, 07:54 PM   #10
    Katie2005
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    Re: Smoking and ACDF

    I have never been a smoker. But when they were gong over the surgery a couple months before I had mine this year. They asked if I was a smoker. My sugeron is the one of the best in the nation and I am not just saying that...he is...they tell you to quit at least 5-6 months if not a year prior to surgery to be on the safe side. He does a blood test on everyone of his patients to test the blood to make sure. If he finds it in the blood he will cancel surgery it lesses the chance of it working by half. So think about it do you want to go through the hell of the surgery to have it not work because you don't want to quit smoking. You can do it..you just have to tell you self it is smoking or fixing you back?

     
    Old 04-12-2007, 11:04 AM   #11
    souffoue
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    Re: Smoking and ACDF

    Thanks for all the posts!

    Had my pre-op appt yesterrday (surgery was moved up) and the Dr. told me although he isn't advocating smoking - now is not the time for me to try to quit as it wouldn't make much difference at this point. He said since I am so stressed about the surgery adding the additional stress of trying to quit smoking would not be good.

     
    Old 04-12-2007, 05:28 PM   #12
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    Re: Smoking and ACDF

    There is very solid evidence that in the case of spinal surgery you need to do everything you can to have a positive outcome and that includes not smoking.

    Nicotine acts like a poison in the bone, inhibiting fusion. One study of how well the bone mass fuses together in spinal fusion patients show that the nonunion rate is lowest (14%) for nonsmokers, slightly higher (17%) for patients who quit smoking for at least 6 months after surgery, and is highest (26%) for patients who continued to smoke. (“Nonsmokers fare better than smokers in fusion procedures,” Orthopedics Today, vol. 20, no. 5, May 2000, p.12.)

    If you read the horror stories of people who have non-union then you might feel more strongly that you will try to stop. It's bad enough that an estimated 20% of patients do not improve after spine fusion surgery, if you are going to go through all this effort and surgery, don't you want to give yourself the best possible chance to get well!!

    You can do this!! There is no better time than now.

     
    Old 04-12-2007, 09:30 PM   #13
    ~Ro
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    Re: Smoking and ACDF

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by neckpatient View Post

    If you read the horror stories of people who have non-union then you might feel more strongly that you will try to stop. It's bad enough that an estimated 20% of patients do not improve after spine fusion surgery, if you are going to go through all this effort and surgery, don't you want to give yourself the best possible chance to get well!!

    You can do this!! There is no better time than now.
    Thanks, Neckpatient. I appreciate your research & post about this topic. I am the last person that anybody would have thought would quit smoking since I've failed so many times in the past. I quit 2 weeks before my surgery using chantix which does leave me a little nauseus for a few minutes out of the day but I don't miss the cigarettes at all. I hope I quit in time to make a difference and can stay off them forevermore. And furthermore, make this ACDF C-5 through C-7 surgery fusion be successful & be my last because I really don't want to go through any of it again. What's so funny is that none of my friends knew I quit smoking because unlike the countless other times I quit, I "didn't notice" that I wasn't smoking so had no bad nick fits or bitchy attitude that usually follows. Good luck to all.

    ~Ro

     
    Old 04-13-2007, 11:43 AM   #14
    souffoue
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    Re: Smoking and ACDF

    Thanks for the info neckpatient. I do plan on quitting after I have the surgery as I know that is a must.

     
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