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  • 4 weeks post ACDF update - and - Who here smokes?

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    Old 08-29-2002, 09:07 AM   #1
    lilniko
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    4 weeks post ACDF update - and - Who here smokes?

    Hi everybody. Now 4 weeks post surgery. Just about every other day I am in excruciating pain and have to just rest, BUT on some days it will be like 12:00 p.m. and I think gosh I haven't taken any medicine. That NEVER happened before where I didn't think to take medicine. Doctor thinks its because I do things like don't rest, drive to Canada, type all day on my legal case, etc. So I think there is progress although I still hurt a lot. Started P.T. Small exercise where you push your head into a pillow very lightly. That's about it for now.

    Still NO COLLAR. Still worried about that part.

    SMOKING - who here smokes? If I only smoke 1-2 cigarettes a day is there enough carbon or whatever to do the damage? I swear that is all I've been smoking, and it doesn't seem likes its enough to hurt. Are there any studies on this?

    Thank you!

    Brenda.

     
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    Old 08-31-2002, 02:31 AM   #2
    Michael Hurts A Lot
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    Re: 4 weeks post ACDF update - and - Who here smokes?

    I smoke 2 packs a day - I asked my neurosurgeon about it (cause he had been telling me to stop) and he said that it wont interfere with the fusing. I asked him if he was sure and he said he has had patients smoke more and it didnt affect them - but I need to stop anyway (he said my disks were extremely dry - caused by smoking).

     
    Old 09-01-2002, 09:56 AM   #3
    lmotivans
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    Re: 4 weeks post ACDF update - and - Who here smokes?

    I'm really suprised your neurosurgeon said smoking will not affect the fusion. Everything I have researched said smoking will affect the bones from fusing properly.

    Anyway good luck to you.
    Leo

     
    Old 09-01-2002, 02:29 PM   #4
    Michael Hurts A Lot
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    Re: 4 weeks post ACDF update - and - Who here smokes?

    I was about ready to quit (well not really, but I WANTED to quit... well... ok I thought I should quit)... I was worried that it would have a bad effect on the fusing and I kept harassing my doctor about it. "what if it doesnt fuse?" He said he isnt worried about it - and my xrays and mri show my fusing to be progressing very well. 7 weeks postop and he said the fusing is where he expected it to be in 6 months. He's performed ACDF surgery over 5000 times so I trust his opinion. But I am still worried that it wont fuse properly.

     
    Old 09-01-2002, 09:53 PM   #5
    OLIVER-DOVE
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    Re: 4 weeks post ACDF update - and - Who here smokes?

    Hey Folks,

    I have been watching this post to see who would give the correct information. So far some get part but not the other. So let me explain it to you so you can understand. Smoking is bad. It hurts all the parts of our body in one way or another. So does breathing dirty air and drinking city water. As far as the spine is concerned if you only smoked for a short time for less that 6 months and less than a pack a day then quit your back will thank you because the healing time will be shorter and you can use donor bone instead of your own. If you are one of us who has smoked for many years for me it was 21 years 1 1/2 packs a day. Changing our lifestyle will have little impact at this point. Our bones have chemically changed due to the smoking and we must when having a fusion use bone harvested from our own bodies. The reason is that bone has the same chemical makeup and will have a greater possibility of fusion. I would cut down the nicotine intake after surgery so to give our body one less chemical to contend with. I have on both of my surgeries had donor bone from my own body used and so far they have fused just fine. The reason for the failures from smoking out here is due to the donor bone not being from yourself and doesn't have your nicotine chemical make-up and so reject occurs. In throat inscions it keeps the throat tissue from healing quickly but, it does heal.

    I have smoked for over 21 years and know others who had spine surgery like myself and the only failure I have seen so far is from one guy who used donor bone. Everyone of his fusions have failed and know after 7 years he is looking forward to his 11th surgery to replace a failed fusion. He still will not use his own bone. His doctor tells him everthing will be fine. I tell you if he was my doctor I would have fired him 9 surgeries ago.

    So what I am saying is use common sense. Quiting smoking is good for any reason but let it be because you want to. You will have more success. I now smoke a pipe and have cut down on my intake substancially. But, Ah___ that taste of tobacco is soooo good.

    Oliver <IMG SRC="http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/wave.gif">

     
    Old 09-05-2002, 07:24 PM   #6
    Michael Hurts A Lot
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    Re: 4 weeks post ACDF update - and - Who here smokes?

    I have to disagree. I have smoked 3 packs of Marlboro (Red pack) for 17 years. My doctor was well aware of this fact - and he used donor bone. They dont take the marrow - just the calcium from the bone. I had my surgery on July 16th and had xrays and an MRI on August 18th. My fusing is going very well. In fact, I asked my doctor about it today (3rd time asking him because I was worried because I keep seeing comments on here) and he said "you have a plate in, the fusing will take. I guarantee it. Look at your films. I have never had one fail". He doesnt harvest bone from the patient for anyone - he said the recuperation period is extended and generally the patient has more complications with the hip than the actual spine surgery. He has performed ACDF thousands of times - I think he has a little bit of an idea of what works and what doesn't.

     
    Old 09-05-2002, 07:26 PM   #7
    Michael Hurts A Lot
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    Re: 4 weeks post ACDF update - and - Who here smokes?

    Umm thats 3 packs a day for 17 years

     
    Old 09-06-2002, 03:17 AM   #8
    DavyD
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    Re: 4 weeks post ACDF update - and - Who here smokes?

    Hi Michael,Oliver and ALL,

    In this instance, it's not a case of who is right,who is wrong! It's a case of smoking IS bad for you.
    I tend to agree with Oliver, in that it makes perfect sense to use own bone, not only if you smoke but anytime.
    It stands to reason that the rejection element will be
    less of an issue if bone from ones own body is used, given that bone is a living organism.

    In my case, as you know, I had own bone!

    Up the night of surgery for a smoke (4 hours later)
    Pain of no consequence in hip! To date no pain!
    No collar, Driving 1 week after surgery.

    I may well be the exception to the rule here, but like your Surgeon Michael, my Surgeon is the top Neurosurgeon in Scotland and always uses own bne.

    It is my opinion that Surgeons have their own preference, in your Surgeons case Michael he used donated bone, and by definition is probably cautious in using own bone as it is one more surgery site to contend with.That's his experience and choice.

    It is also a fact that men tend to get over the own bone graft better than women, simply because there are anatomical differences there in our hips!

    I have smoked now for 37 years, have given up trying to give up, causes me more anxiety, therefore carry on smoking.

    Will my fusion be successful? That I dont know, but as Oliver stated, I would be more comfortable having own bone than not as my bones have obviously changed due to the chemical invasion and therefore are a perfect match.

    Will let you all know if it's a successful fusion when I have my post op check up on 11th November.

    Take care <IMG SRC="http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/wave.gif">

    <IMG SRC="http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/heart.gif"> to ALL,

    Davy



    ------------------
    Had C6 Vertebrectomy,ACDF with Decompression,Titanium Plate and Screws (MRI Compatible) 7th Aug 2002
    Own bone from (R) Iliac Crest.
    Doing Great!!!

     
    Old 09-06-2002, 09:18 PM   #9
    Michael Hurts A Lot
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    Re: 4 weeks post ACDF update - and - Who here smokes?

    I wasnt arguing the merits of stopping smoking. I know I need to stop. I hate smoking. I was just stating that smokers do fuse with donor bone. My fusing is progressing very well (according to my doctor anyway) and I had donor bone. I had read numerous posts on here that smokers didnt fuse and that donor bone didnt fuse - I was just refuting that.

    And, I know that surgeons have their preferences. My surgeon is very opinionated and, of course, he is NEVER wrong (in his mind anyway). I guess in his job he has to be that way. He also handles a lot of traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries (auto accident, etc) where he just gets called to the ER and straight into surgery. A lot of those patients die so he cant second guess himself and try to figure out what went wrong. He has to think that his way is the best way and that's it. Otherwise, he wouldnt be a very good surgeon because he would be trying to think of other ways to handle someone - even while he was in surgery. Not good to second guess himself when he is cutting on someone.

     
    Old 09-07-2002, 05:01 PM   #10
    DavyD
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    Re: 4 weeks post ACDF update - and - Who here smokes?

    Hi Michael.

    Nor was I judging the merits of smoking.Like you I smoke and like you I have seen posts suggest that if you smoke you are more likely to have a failed fusion.
    Bull*%* is my answer to that.

    ALL medical practitioners and medical sites like to put the fear of God into us smokers, that is their way.

    I also hate smoking and would like to stop but have given up trying,for now!!!

    I suppose, like me you started smoking prior to Government Health Warnings being put on Cig packets, or am I being presumptious?

    The point is, when I started, if the warnings existed, I KNOW I wouldn't have smoked, far to interested and caught up in football, boxing etc.

    I believe the topic started with who here smokes. well lets leave everyone with this thought.

    You smoke,I smoke, we both have different graft techniques, so at the end of the day when you fuse perfectly and I do, it will throw the text books and med sites into chaos wondering how we did it,eh!! <IMG SRC="http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/biggrin.gif">

    Take care Michael,

    <IMG SRC="http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/heart.gif"> to you and yours,

    Davy

     
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