Thursday, July 24, 2014

Smoking and Your Bones

Have you ever wondered what impact smoking has on your bones?  You may be aware of the link between smoking, heart disease, respiratory disease and cancer - but did you know that smoking has serious negative consequences on your muscles, bones and joints. Smoking actually impacts every tissue in the human body. More often than not, smoking leads to poorer outcomes with orthopedic surgery.

According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons:
  • Smoking increases your risk of developing osteoporosis. Elderly smokers are 30% - 40% more likely to break their hips than nonsmokers.
  • Smoking reduces the blood supply to your bones.
  • Nicotine slows the production of osteoblasts (bone-forming cells).
  • Smoking breaks down estrogen more quickly. Estrogen is very important in the development of a strong skeletal system in women and men.
  • Smoking decreases the absorption of calcium from the diet. Calcium is extremely important for bone mineralization - which can lead to osteoporosis.
  • Smokers are 1.5 times more likely to develop an overuse injury such as bursitis or tendonitis.
  • Smokers are substantially more likely to develop traumatic injuries (Sprains, fractures).
  • Smoking is associated with a higher risk of low back pain and rheumatoid arthritis
  • Smoking has a negative impact on wound healing and fractures. They take longer to heal!
  • Smoking has a negative impact on athletic performance.

According to researchers, you can improve your chances for a successful outcome after surgery if you are a nonsmoker or if you have stopped smoking.

Before you plan your orthopedic surgery, make sure you talk to your provider at Advanced Bone & Joint about your tobacco use. There are many low - cost smoking cessation programs to help you quit for good. The American Lung Association is a great place to start!

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