Is It Worth Discriminating Against Patients Who Smoke? A Systematic Literature Review on the Effects of Tobacco Use in Foot and Ankle Surgery

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Although numerous studies have linked smoking with lower extremity wound and bone healing complications, a comprehensive study on the effects of smoking in foot and ankle surgery has not yet been reported. The purpose of the present study was to report the results of our systemic literature review, identifying the effects of tobacco use on common foot and ankle procedures. The systematic literature review was performed according to guidelines set by the PRIMSA statement (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analyses). Smoking, as a single risk factor, was analyzed and used to compare adverse outcomes in the postoperative setting of foot and ankle surgery. We reviewed 528 abstracts that met our initial identification criteria. After an extensive review process, 46 of the articles (8.71%) met the eligibility requirements to be included in the present study. Distal bunionectomy with osteotomy, first metatarsophalangeal joint arthrodesis, Lapidus bunionectomy, toe amputation, transmetatarsal amputation, Syme's amputation, open reduction internal fixation (ORIF) of calcaneal fractures, ankle fracture ORIF, pilon fracture ORIF, subtalar arthrodesis, rearfoot arthrodesis, tibiocalcaneal arthrodesis, ankle arthrodesis, total ankle arthroplasty, and plastic surgery procedures and their respective negative association with smoking was identified and described in our review. Our systematic literature review revealed that procedures involving arthrodesis, fracture ORIF, and plastic surgery were associated with negative outcomes in smokers. Procedures that did not involve osseous unions such as total ankle arthroplasty and amputations did not appear to have negative outcomes associated with smoking.

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