In addition to the harmful effects on the heart and lungs, smoking also has a number of harmful effects on the musculoskeletal system. Below are a number of reasons why, as orthopedic surgeons, we encourage our patients to quit smoking.
Deleterious effects of smoking on the musculoskeletal system include:
Osteoporosis (and therefore increased risk for fractures)
Impaired circulation to the fingers and toes (which may result in painful, non-healing wounds)
Delayed/impaired fracture healing
Delayed/impaired wound healing
Increased likelihood of complications and patient dissatisfaction following surgical procedures
Increased risk of connective tissue diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus