Smoking hampers the body’s ability to repair wounds by affecting the supply of oxygen to tissues. Smoking has ill effect on the cardiovascular system, circulatory system, skin, teeth, and life expectancy. Smoking is a potentially modifiable patient behavior with the help of counseling and nicotine replacement. Ten to 25% of patients undergoing hip and knee replacement actively smoke. Smoking heightens the risk of deep infection and wound complications after knee replacement. Patients that stop smoking experienced fewer cardiovascular complications, wound-related complications, and secondary surgeries.

Dr. Amanatullah and his team of researchers wanted to know the impact of smoking on the time between initial knee replacement and revision surgery. For their study, 619 revision knee replacement patients were divided into three groups: nonsmokers, former smokers, and smokers. Smokers knee replacements failed earlier when compared to nonsmokers or former smokers, hastening the time between primary knee replacement and revision surgery. The sample size of this study is small. However, a statistically more powerful study would require about 44,000 patients. This preliminary study underscores the benefits of smoking cessation prior knee replacement. To read the full study, click here.