Is Smoking Bad for the Joints?

by Sam Walton Sr. Business Analyst

Smoking is known to be bad for your lungs, heart, and related to many types of cancers. But did you also know that smoking is also related to poor joint health?

A research study conducted by Dr. Domb and other orthopedic specialists, examined clinical findings and patient-reported outcomes to evaluate the effect of smoking status for patients undergoing hip arthroscopic surgery. The study involved 75 hips in the smoking category and 150 hips in the non-smoking category.

Good patient reported outcomes were obtained in the short-term after the arthroscopic surgery procedure by both smokers and non-smokers. While almost all patients reported reduced hip pain and improved function after surgery, nonsmokers tended to achieve better results than smokers in the long term.

Here are the reasons why smoking is bad for your joints –

  • Smoking decreases blood supply to the bones, weakening them.
  • Nicotine inhibits the production of bone-forming cells (osteoblasts).
  • Smoking reduces absorption of calcium from food. Since calcium is needed for bone mineralization, smokers develop fragile bones due to less mineralization.
  • Smoking causes estrogen to break down faster. Since estrogen is necessary to maintain strong bones, smoking often leads to osteoporosis and an increased risk of fractures.
  • increases risk of fracture in old age. Elderly smokers are much more likely to break their hips than non-smokers.
  • Smoking delays the healing process by slowing down wound and fracture healing.
  • For the same reason as above, smoking increases the risk of complications after surgery and produces less satisfactory surgical outcomes.
  • Nicotine signals the brain to eat less, reducing appetite, and may even lead to malnourishment. As a result, it reduces athletic performance.


Smoking also affects tissues, other than bone, that are a part of the musculoskeletal system, increasing the risk of injury and disease –

  • Rotator cuff tears in smokers are worse than those in nonsmokers, which could be related to the quality of their tendons.
  • Smokers are much more likely to suffer overuse injuries, such as bursitis or tendonitis, than nonsmokers.

While the effects of smoking are always bad for the smokers, the good news is that quitting smoking at any age is the best thing you can do to improve joint strength and reduce the risk of fractures.

If you have a history of smoking, consult an orthopedic specialist for a thorough evaluation of your musculoskeletal system and recommendations or a treatment plan to improve your condition or prevent further worsening.

To learn more about orthopedic treatments, such as knee arthritis and Achilles tendonitis treatment, call one of the best orthopedic doctors in Phoenix AZ, call Phoenix Shoulder and Knee at 480-219-3342. Dr. Adam Farber is a Fellowship Trained, Board Certified Phoenix and Scottsdale orthopedic surgeon specializing in Sports Medicine.

Sponsor Ads

About Sam Walton Advanced   Sr. Business Analyst

31 connections, 1 recommendations, 112 honor points.
Joined APSense since, September 10th, 2014, From Texas, United States.

Created on Oct 1st 2019 05:57. Viewed 318 times.


No comment, be the first to comment.
Please sign in before you comment.