Do Former Smokers Exhibit a Distinct Profile Before and After Lumbar Spine Surgery?

Spine Jun 2017 Jazini E et al



Of 1187 eligible cases, 843 (71%) had complete data, with 477 Never, 250 Former, and 116 Current smokers. Among patients who had a fusion, baseline and 12-month post-op PROs were significantly different between cohorts, with Former smokers having intermediate scores between Current and Never smokers. In the decompression only group, 12-month ODI was worse in the Current smokers, but overall the effects were much less pronounced. There was a significant negative correlation between smoke-free days prior to surgery and baseline back pain, ODI, 12-month leg pain and ODI and improvement in ODI. However, the correlation coefficients were small.


Former smokers have distinct baseline and 12-month post-op PROs that are intermediate between those of never smokers and current smokers. Smoking cessation does not entirely mitigate the negative effects of smoking on baseline and postoperative PROs for patients undergoing lumbar fusion surgery. This effect is less pronounced in patients undergoing decompression alone.

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