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Spinal Fusion Smoker vs Non smokers
#1
I have been researching spinal fusion because it is more than likely I will be having one between L4 & L5. I would like to know how many people here had a fusion that smoke & had problems compare to those that do not smoke & had problems?

I was trying to make this a poll but didn't know how sorry.
 
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#2
I would be suprised if the work comp insurance company agrees to pay for the fusion if you are a smoker.

I know a couple of injured workers who the wc doctor wanted to do surgrey but the insurance company would only agree to the surgery if the injured worker quit smoking.
 
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#3
My neurosurgeon refused unless I had been smoke free for at least 30 days. Guess it didn't matter as the ins. co. refused the surgery anyway.
 
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#4
Most Dr will refuse to do it until you quit smoking for 6 months....it does make a difference on your healing.here in Okla you can get free help to stop smoking at the health dept.good luck
........I love cats, I just cant eat a whole one by myself......







 
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#5
(03-24-2012, 05:31 PM)darrinb Wrote: I have been researching spinal fusion because it is more than likely I will be having one between L4 & L5. I would like to know how many people here had a fusion that smoke & had problems compare to those that do not smoke & had problems?

I was trying to make this a poll but didn't know how sorry.

Smoking and spinal fusion don't mix, 6 months is average to delay surgery. Heart and lungs and both compromised with any spinal surgery, add smoking to that mixture and you're asking for trouble. Took mystepmother nearly 10 months to recover from spinal fusion and then at 18 months to declare her a non-fusion and then at 3 yrs to declare it a twisted fusion.

Biggest problem is pulmonary, longer recovery usually for those less than 30 days post smoking. Loss of blood supply for overall function both pulmonary and then for recovery where there is documented numbers of people with failed fusion directly related to smoking. Stepmother is a documented smoker, lung CA patient, failed spinal fusion patient, twisted rods and now discs.

 
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#6
I am a smoker and had a fusion done. A friend of mine who has since passed away was also a smoker and his dr. would not do it until he had been smoke free for 6 months.

Anyway, in my case the issue of smoking came up and the dr. told me that smoking would delay the time it took for the fusion to take hold. With that being said, all went well with my fusion.
8-05, Micro laminectomy/disectomy. 10-05 lumbar fusion L5-S1. 2-07 exploritory surgery. 12-07 medical implant, Spinal Cord Stimulator. now receiving SSDI. After going back to school, I received my degree as a mechanical engineer. What can I say, it was the only way I had to beat the system. 
 
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#7
With my surgeon he also said he wouldnt do it if I was a smoker.. I was a heavy smoker 3 pks a day before my mva and I had major surgeries to hip,pelvis and si joint fussion and it healed fine.. After I reinjured my back I had been a non smoker for over a year but I smoke an occasional cigar and the 2 level fussion I needed the surgeon wasnt concerned if I was or wasnt a smoker... The facts are clear if you smoke and the more you smoke it will slow down the healing process but in emergency situations they still do it.....
 
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#8
Thanks everyone for your response. I am a non smoker however I did read that some spinal fusion failure was due to smoker. It also stated what most of you are saying that it will take longer to fuse if you are a smoker.

How are all of you doing after your fusion? What complications do you experience the most? Would you do it again if you had to?

Thanks
 
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#9
I am not a smoker and I didnt fuse as of a year after my surgery it did however fill with alot of scar tissue.....would I do it again nope I wouldnt...I got less than a week of relief before all the same pain came back I was a failed cervical fusion.some get better results than I I have heard I have never spoke to one but the Docs say they are out there.
........I love cats, I just cant eat a whole one by myself......







 
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#10
(03-26-2012, 08:18 AM)darrinb Wrote: Thanks everyone for your response. I am a non smoker however I did read that some spinal fusion failure was due to smoker. It also stated what most of you are saying that it will take longer to fuse if you are a smoker.

How are all of you doing after your fusion? What complications do you experience the most? Would you do it again if you had to?

Thanks

Research this a good deal. Spinal procedures can have a failure rate of up to 40%, often leading to multiple operations with decreasing likelihood of success. It is called "Failed Back Surgery Syndrome". Much of the problem is wrong patient/wrong procedure. Smoking really interferes with the healing process, and as noted, many surgeons won't operate on smokers.

I am not trying to scare you away- merely make sure your eyes are open going in.
 
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