Home » Musculoskeletal Health » Smoking and Musculoskeletal Health

Smoking and Musculoskeletal Health

Smoking is the number one cause of preventable death. Smokers  live 7 to 10 years less than non-smokers. Although a lot of people know about the link between smoking and heart and lung disease as well as cancer, few know it has serious effects on bones, fracture healing, as well as recovery from surgery.

Smoking reduces the blood supply to bones, slows down bone-forming cells, and decreases the absorption of calcium from the diet. Smoking makes your bones wea
Smoking increases the risk of injury and disease. Smokers up to 50% more likely to suffer from sprains and strains, bursitis, tendonitis, back pain. Rotator cuff tears are nearly twice as large in smokers.k and prone to fractures. Elderly smokers are up to 40% more likely to break their hips.

Smoking affects lung function, making oxygen less available for muscles. It has a harmful effect on sports activity. Smokers cannot run or walk as fast or as far as nonsmokers.

Smoking has a harmful effect on fracture healing and wound healing.

Fractures take a lot longer to heal in smokers. Smoking increases the chance of the fracture not healing at all! Smokers have more  complications after surgery: infections and failure of the surgery. This applies to bones (fracture fixation and joint fusions) as well as tendon repairs (rotator cuff repair, among others).

Overall, smokers have less successful outcome than none-smokers.

You can improve your chances for a successful outcome after surgery if you quit. Are you considering surgery? This is your chance to quit smoking. Give yourself a motive to quit-  it is never too late.

Many smoking effects are reversible. By quitting smoking, you cut  your risks and help your body regain some of its health. Help is available on a local, state, and nation wide. Check out the American Lung Association’s Freedom from Smoking® Online program at  the American Lung Associations website.


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