Daniel K. Park, MD

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Patients ask me on a regular basis about smoking affecting their spinal surgery.

Patients ask me on a regular basis about smoking affecting their spinal surgery.

Recently, a new article demonstrated that smokers undergoing a single level lumbar fusion did not have a higher rate of the fusion not taking (pseudarthrosis) compared to non smokers. However, if they underwent a two level fusion the rate of fusion not taking was higher. Complications however were also higher for smokers regardless of number of levels.

Recently, a new article demonstrated that smokers undergoing a single level lumbar fusion did not have a higher rate of the fusion not taking (pseudarthrosis) compared to non smokers. However, if they underwent a two level fusion the rate of fusion not taking was higher. Complications however were also higher for smokers regardless of number of levels.

Take home points:

if you are a smoker and undergoing a lumbar fusion

 

  • smoking increases risk the fusion not taking a you may need another surgery especially if more than one level is being fused
  • if you can stop smoking (meaning no nicotine, not even from a patch) few months before and fews months after would be ideal

The Impact of Smoking on Complication and Pseudoarthrosis Rates   The Impact of Smoking on Complication and Pseudoarthrosis Rates