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Six Other Reasons to Quit Smoking

In this day and age, it’s likely that you’ve learned a little bit about why smoking is bad for you. And, usually, it has something to do with cancer and heart disease. You might assume that most health care practitioners encourage people to stop smoking for those reasons alone. But, the truth is, those two, very big reasons, are just the tip of the iceberg. Even if a smoker is lucky enough not to die of heart disease or cancer, smoking can compromise their day-to-day quality of life, in numerous ways.

Smoking and Joint Health

At ORCA, we often get a close up view of what smoking can do to a person’s joints – and it isn’t pretty:

  1. Rotator cuff (shoulder) tears in smokers tend to be nearly twice the size of nonsmokers; a fact attributed to the compromised quality of smokers’ tendons.

  2. Men with knee osteoarthritis who smoke sustain greater cartilage loss and have more severe knee pain than men who do not smoke. This is likely due to smoking’s negative effect on cartilage metabolism.

  3. Smoking has also been identified as a cause of Rheumatoid arthritis – which causes chronic inflammation of the joints and the tissue surrounding the joints.

Smoking can also cause additional complications that compromise joint health, including:

  1. Osteoporosis. Smoking is known to increase the risk of this bone weakness that causes fractures.

  2. Overuse injuries, fractures and traumas – which are more likely in smokers.

  3. Slower healing. Smokers simply don’t heal from fractures or surgeries as quickly as non-smokers – which can increase risk of infection or complications.

If you or your loved ones smoke, we hope that this will provide more motivation to quit. We realize that it’s not easy and will happily refer you to someone who can help.

© 2019 by Orthopaedic Research Clinic Alaska

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The American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery

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