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Healing: Smoking and Healing

There growing evidence that smoking inhibits bone healing, that healing is slower for smokers and the rate of nonunion is higher. There is also evidence that stopping smoking right after the fracture restores your chances back towards normal. The following sites are on the Internet.

Smoking and Bones Report of a University of Texas Southwestern study showing broken legs took longer to heal in smokers (average 276 days) compared to non-smokers (146 days)

Smoking; can it affect bone healing? Hughston Health Alert. Describes slower rate of bone healing in smokers undergoing  the Ilizarov method of treatment.

AAOS OnLine Service Smoking Inhibits Fracture Healing

AAOS Position Paper on Smoking. With an excellent bibliography on the subject.

Smokers at higher risk for osteoporosis (About)

Spinal Fusion more successful in non smokers Report of a research paper which shows that healing in neck fusion operations was 81% in non-smokers vs 62% in smokers.

Smoking and Bone Healing from Johns Hopkins Medical School

Smoking and wound healing don't mix!

Smoking hurts bones    (About)

Effects of smoking on your surgery (Podiatry Network)

Smoking, a bad break for your bones WebMD

Smoking hinders healing summarizes and quotes a number of the studies on the subject

Myles Clough MD Jan 29th 2002


From: Lynda

Please discuss again the negative effects smoking has on bone growth.


From: ITK

Another reference to look at is:

"Acceleration of Tibia and Distal Radius Fractures in Patients Who Smoke", by Stephen D. Cook, PhD, et al., Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research, No. 337, April 1997

Steve Cook is at Tulane Univ. for those interested.


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