This systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to analyse negative effects of smoking in orthopaedic and trauma patients.
A PubMed search was carried out for studies published until July 2020 regarding effects of smoking on fracture risk, nonunion, infection after orthopaedic surgery, and persisting nonunion after scaphoid nonunion surgery. Random effects models calculated for outcome parameters, and relative risks (RR) with 95% confidence intervals are provided. No adjustments for covariates were made. Heterogeneity was assessed with Higgins’ I2, publication bias with Harbord’s p (Hp), sensitivity analysis performed on funnel plots and quality of studies was analysed using the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale.
Of 3362 retrieved entries, 69 were included in the final analysis. Unadjusted RR for smokers to develop vertebral (six studies, seven entries; RR: 1.61; p = 0.008; I2 = 89.4%), hip (11 studies, 15 entries; RR: 1.28; p = 0.007; I2 = 84.1%), and other fractures (eight studies, 10 entries; RR: 1.75; p = 0.019; I2 = 89.3%) was significantly higher. Postoperative infection risk was generally higher for smokers (21 studies; RR: 2.20; p < 0.001; I2 = 58.9%), and remained upon subgroup analysis for elective spinal (two studies; RR: 4.38; p < 0.001; I2 = 0.0%) and fracture surgery (19 studies; RR: 2.10; p < 0.001; I2 = 58.5%). Nonunion risk after orthopaedic (eight studies; RR: 2.15; p < 0.001; I2 = 35.9%) and fracture surgery (11 studies; RR: 1.85; p < 0.001; I2 = 39.9%) was significantly higher for smokers, as was persisting nonunion risk after surgery for scaphoid nonunion (five studies; RR: 3.52; p < 0.001; I2 = 0.0%). Sensitivity analysis for each model reduced heterogeneity whilst maintaining significance (all I2 < 20.0%).
Smoking has a deleterious impact on fracture incidence, and (subsequent) development of nonunions and postoperative infections.
Cite this article: EFORT Open Rev 2021;6:1006-1019. DOI: 10.1302/2058-5241.6.210058