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Will I be ok?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:32 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I messed up this past weekend. I had a l5s1 fusion on mar 30th this year with bmp and instrumentation. It was done through by back. I used to be chewing tobacco user until i heard the effect it has on a fusion. I quit one week before surgery and have not used once untio this last weekend. I am 3 months out and chewed a can. I am so upset with myself, and am not going to do it again. My question is will I be alright or did I just screw up the fusion? I am so stressed out about this situation answers would be greatly appreciated. Thanks everybody.


  • i'm a smoker,was worried about that,dr, told me to quit but neurosurgeon didn't say anything.I tried to quit,but to no avail,put a smoke out on the way in the door that morning going to surgery.It was right there on my records,but not a single person in the hospital would believe me,perfect chest x ray,98% blood oxygen level before and after surgery.Really makees me wonder about all this hype about smokeing.
  • Hi, I wanted to share: I was asked SO many times if I was a smoker by my surgeon and his staff prior to surgery, but since I'm not, never got a "talking to" However, I was told it was ok to take Ibuprofen. Post-surgery, still ok to take Ibuprofen (for ME ONLY, anyone else reading this, refer to your doctor!!!), but was asked again and again (SO MANY TIMES!) if I smoke. Of course, fast forward to "today" and suddenly they won't let me take so much as 1mg Ibup, as I show no fusion.

    I'm not a doctor, and I can't do much more than guess. Others will swear by both NO smoking and NO Ibuprofen. I went 5 months taking massive doses of Ibup with my surgeons knowledge, but as soon as they found out there is no bone growth so far, they flip their side. But, this took 5 months...

    Again, I'm not a doctor, but I'm guessing your one slip is not going to ruin your chances of recover, just as "5 months of Ibup use and no fusion" has not caused my surgeon to believe it's the end of the road for me.

    If I were you, I'd discuss this with your surgeon, let him give you his take, or even "rip you a new one", that should show you how bad you messed up.

    Don't worry yet, but don't let yourself slide again!

    Take care of your body, so it can take care of you for a long time coming!


    EDIT: Here is a good link about smoking and your back: http://www.spine-health.com/wellness/stop-smoking/reasons-quit-smoking-spinal-fusion
  • I smoke and my surgeon knew it, but never asked me to stop. The irritating little blood work guy who I talked with at my pre-op appointment told me I should quit, but that it was too stressful to try it until a few months after my surgery, so I continued to smoke.

    I'm fusing as expected with no problems. Could be that I just have healthy genes. I did use a spinal cord stimulator, even though my surgeon said it's kind of like voodoo, but thought it wouldn't hurt.

  • With all they hype about global warming and swine flue and other nonsense that gets so much press, I've also wondered about the truth about tobacco. When they lie so much, what are we supposed to beleive? I don't smoke, but I certainly think you should be able to if you want to.
  • Hunter,

    I am certain this one time use since quitting is not going to mess everything up. That said, I think you know just how many horrible additives that are in chewing tabacco - in general the stuff is just not healthy for you - my advice resist the urge and kick it to the curb forever - your body will appreciate it. How have you been feeling since your surgery? How are your pain levels? Are you showing signs of fusion yet?

    All the best, Mike
  • You should be ok with only one can...but for health sake as well as the fusion, take the opportunity to stay stopped. I was originally an oncology nurse, and if people could spend just one day on an oncology unit and see how people suffer, NO ONE would want to smoke or chew tobacco. As far as surgery goes...inhaling smoke is somewhat worse because it can screw up your oxygenation. Those that have great O2 numbers may be lucky at that moment...but it'll catch up with you. :( It may be fine pre or post-op, but if you are unlucky enough to get pneumonia post-op, you'll deteriorate faster and it'll stick around longer with the chance of scar tissue remaining in your lungs. I've seen people get lung cancer who didn't smoke a day in their life, but nicotine is a 100% preventable risk factor. Sorry--I don't mean to be preachy....I've just seen so much suffering. My mom smokes and I worry so much for her, but I also see how hard it is for her to quit. ANY patient we see for pre-op clearance gets the "quit smoking" lecture. I think most medical professionals are realistic in their expectations of you, and are very happy to help you quit. I'll shut up now. #:S
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