Patients who smoke following total joint arthroplasty are more likely to experience wound complications after the surgical procedure.

Duchman’s team, including Andrew Pugely, MD, Christopher Martin, MD, Yubo Gao, PhD, Melissa Willenborg, MD and John Callaghan, MD, has determined that patients who smoke are much more likely to experience wound complications after surgical procedure, some of which require additional surgeries.  If this research indicates that smoking increases the risk of complications, should surgeons advise patients to quit smoking before undergoing this type of procedure?  The team of researchers is trying to answer this question.  “Our findings are not only useful for the orthopaedic surgeon who counsels patients prior to surgery on patient-specific risks,” Duchman explains “It also establishes a baseline for future smoking cessation programs to compare as we aim to change this modifiable risk factor in order to improve results and decrease complications following total joint arthroplasty.”

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