Most people who smoke have been told by their doctor that they should try to stop because of the risk of chest disease, heart disease and other complications. Smoking will increase the risk of complications from an anaesthetic so it is a good idea to make a resolution to stop smoking as soon as you decide to undergo an orthopaedic operation, you should go to your GP's surgery and discuss going on a smoking cessation course.
A lot of people are not aware of the fact that smoking causes serious damage to bones, tendons and the discs in the spine. The effect of this is that you should make every effort to stop smoking before you have any orthopaedic surgery.
There is a particular risk for patients who are undergoing either a bone graft or and operation to join together to bones (a bone or joint fusion). the difficulty is that the poisons in the cigarette smoke have a bad effect on the bone cells which are trying to join together the 2 bones or to get the bone graft to solidify and form new bone.
For this reason some orthopaedic surgeons believe that it is irresponsible to carry out this type of surgery in patients who continue to smoke. All orthopaedic surgeons that they would advise their patients stop.