Smoking and Bone Healing

Putting off a cigarette to signify quitting smoking

by Dr. Misako McLeod, DPM

Everybody know that’s smoking affects your heart and lungs, but did you know that it affects your bones and fracture healing as well?

Smoking causes constriction of the blood vessels and decreases circulation to the bone which needs fresh blood to heal.  Fractures, bone surgery such as osteotomies (bone cutting procedures) and arthrodesis (fusion procedures) are especially vulnerable to the affects of nicotine and smoking.  In fact, smoking causes an increased risk of post-operative complication with wound healing and non-union, where the bone simply doesn’t heal or fuse.

Blackboard with the chemical formula of Nicotine



Furthermore, smoking significantly increases cardiovascular risks such as  stroke, heart attack, peripheral vascular disease, and wound healing problems.


Dr. McLeod strongly encourages all patient to stop smoking before and permanently after surgery. There are many medications, techniques, and helps for those trying to stop smoking. Dr. McLeod will work with your primary care doctor to help you stop smoking and get you on the path to better health!

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