Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

The main site has all the formal medical articles and videos for you to research on.

smoking and Bone Graft

kratoskkratos Posts: 10
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:52 AM in Recovering from Surgery
So here is the really good news:

I am 2 weeks post op for ACDF at C4, C5, C6. I feel good. Symptoms that led to surgery were numbness/tingling in left arm/hand. thats about 95% better.

Also Since the day before my surgery, so March 20th, I have now been smoke free!!! I dont even want one.

Anyhow, I know smoking can effect bone grafts, and some surgeons have you quit months before. Mine didnt give me the option. Surgery was needed "within 2 weeks".

Since surgery as i said I have quit, I have ate really really healthy, and have walked about 2 to 3 miles a day. Lots of veggies, lots of fruits, lots of vitamins, especially C and D. Should the effects of smoking not be such a big deal now that I quit while healing? Surely never having started would of been the best, but what can I say?
I have my 1st post op appt the 19th and am hoping to see good fusion bone growth is all. What I really want is OUT OF THIS MIAMI J Collar!

Any thoughts?


  • Congrats on quitting smoking!! My last smoke was the day before my surgery which was Feb 1. From what I understand, the nicotiene is what prohibits bone growth. Stopping the day before should be as good as not starting at all. I could be way wrong....so don't quote me!
  • Thats what I thought. Sure never smoking to begin with would have been optimal but who among us are optimal?

    According to my NS it is indeed the actual nicotine. Thats why its not just smoking but, chew, and even the patch and gum products.

    I cut it out when I could. I was so darn nervous , before surgery, it just wasnt an option, this all happeing to me from family doc, to MRI, to NS, to surgery, in 10 days flat.

    Now that I have quit, everything bein equal, I just want to do EVERYTHING I can to promote bone graph/fusion.
  • advertisement
  • I have also heard that it is the nicotine,but think that with less oxygen in blood must inhibit healing also.
    I have heard of people usiing the patches & still fusing.
    I stopped 5 days before surgery,& was the same,scared as hell.But my first fusion did not fuse,& I did not stop smoking that time.I so regretted that.
    I have been stopped now since 14/2/2011,it is still tough but I just remind mysaelf of the things I have gained by stopping,heaps more money in my pocket,& I can breath through my nose again,LOL.
    I still have pain,which gets worse when I exercise,I think its the bottom screws aggrevating things from movement causing inflamation.
    But don't know for sure.
    Just letting time go by,so the fusion can happen,before metal ware can be removed.
    I don't think I could go thru this a third time.
    My surgeon really got angry with me this last time & said he would not help me any more ,if I did not stop.That really scared the crap out of me.
    Best of luck everyone,getting through this stuff takes great courage,may there be positive rewards for us all from these struggles.
    Mike-New Zealand.
  • Mike you gotta let the smokin thing go bro. Its not worth it. Your surgeon said so himself.

    I had really wanted to quit before surgery came into my life. Maybe that helped, maybe it didnt. I just knew that if nicotine was a inhibitor to a full healing, I was done.

    I am curious if anyone out there can help answer these questions concerning nicotine?

    Thats what is superbly annoying about this entire forum. Lots of posts, few answers, and fewer dialogues.

    Anyhow, I am again eating as healthy as humanly possible, loaded with vitamins and 14 days smoke free!!!
  • I so know that .As you say with it beingan inhibitor to healing,you have very strong reasons to Not Smoke.I'm good dude,still have the odd rough patch when its like a missing friend ,but I'm enjoying the better breathing,& extra money .
    11 weeks now,& still so pleased to not be a slave to tabacco anymore.
    Go hard dude,you can & have to do this to,so you heal good & strong.
    Take care mate & keep us all posted on results.

  • advertisement
  • I quit a month before my first surgery. Had a relapse at one point then quit again. I'm on my way to 3 years smoke free. So yeah you can do it.

    On your question. 2 weeks and the nicotine causing cravings etc should be way down. Most is out of your system. Not all.

    Nicotine not only causes issues with bone narrow and successful fusion. It also helps dry out your other discs. Then add in all the other wonderful features of the tar and other carcinogens in cigarettes. There is nothing positive to say about it.

    If you can get to 2 weeks you got over the nicotine withdrawal for the most part. Now you have to get over the addiction. It's not just nicotine.

    Keep on doing what you are doing. Changing your diet, drinking lots of water to flush your system, light exercise until you are clear to do more. Not only does it help with getting that crap from cigarettes out of your body. It helps get all the drugs from the hospital out of your system. That seems to take a long time.

    As for more info on here. There is a section that is called Smoking. You can read some threads in there. I know when I was quitting I got a bunch of people involved in discussions. I'm too lazy to type all my comments out all over again. You can go read it if you're interested.

    Good luck guys and gals on quitting. It's probably one of the smarter and healthier moves you've made in a long time. Sure was for me.
  • Someone posted this comment above:

    "According to my NS it is indeed the actual nicotine. Thats why its not just smoking but, chew, and even the patch and gum products"

    Although it's been many months since my surgery, I couldn't seem to stop smoking beforehand. In fact, it's only the last TWO weeks that I have not had a ciggy and I'm finding it really difficult. The cravings are bad.

    Anyway, I have been using the patches and inhalator prescribed by our local doctor's surgery, but I didn't realise the nicotine in these products is considered just as bad as smoking the cigarettes themselves. I know there are hundreds of other 'poisons', apart from nicotine, that you take in when you puff a ciggy, but that comment really surprised me. It was explained to me that the nicotine actually inhibits the amount of oxygen in your blood and it's this good quality that is essential for your fusion's ultimate success. Perhaps it's their way of scare tactics to make us stop?!

    When I attend the weekly clinic, we have to blow into a special machine. The first day my reading was 16, last week it was 12 and today it was FOUR. I'm delighted with that because they say any reading from 6 and under is considered to be from a 'non-smoker'. YAY!!!

    I know it's very difficult to resist temptation and it does take alot of will-power to do so, but for anyone giving up smoking, it's just a win-win situation as far as I can see (oh.... apart from the increased food intake that is, ha!).

    Good luck to you all.
    2 x Microdiscectomy 2005 / PLIFusion 2-level 2010 / revision surgery 2011 / NEVRO Senza spinal cord stimulator implanted February 2013. I WILL NOT GIVE IN / UP !!
  • That's correct Sue. The nicotine is the main contributor. And yes that includes chewing tobacco, and the gum and patch. I stopped by using Chantix, or Champix for you Euro and Aussie folks.

    Get the nicotine out of your system.

    Also yes on drying out your discs. I've read that in many places. There are studies that show significant issues with smoking and bone growth. No guarantee you will fuse. But even if it adds a 10% risk. On a major surgery why would anyone deliberately increase risk of failure. And the studies say it is a lot worse than 10%. That's just scary.
Sign In or Register to comment.