Impact of Smoking on Outcomes Following Knee and Shoulder Arthroscopy


The purpose of this study is to evaluate any association between preoperative smoking and perioperative and early postoperative complications in patients following shoulder and knee arthroscopic surgery.


This is a retrospective study using the prospectively collected National Surgery Quality Improvement Program database. All patients who underwent eight specific shoulder and knee arthroscopy procedures, identified by current procedural terminology codes, were included in this study and analyzed using univariate and multivariate analyses to determine the impact of preoperative smoking status on postoperative complications. These procedures were knee arthroscopy with meniscectomy (medial or lateral), knee arthroscopy with meniscectomy (medial and lateral), knee arthroscopy with chondroplasty, knee arthroscopy with anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction, shoulder arthroscopy with subacromial decompression, shoulder arthroscopy with debridement, subacromial arthroscopy with rotator cuff repair, and shoulder arthroscopy with distal clavicle excision. Thirty-day complications including cardiac, renal, wound, pulmonary, clotting, and mortality were assessed following knee and shoulder arthroscopy.


A total of 134,822 cases were included in the study. Multivariate analysis found that smoking was an independent risk factor for complications in shoulder arthroscopy with subacromial decompression (odd’s ratio [OR] = 1.46; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.030-2.075), shoulder arthroscopy with debridement (OR = 1.933; 95% CI 1.211-3.084), and knee arthroscopy with medial and lateral meniscectomy (OR = 1.97; 95% CI 1.407-2.757). Smoking was not an independent risk factor for complications in the other five procedures studied.


Preoperative smoking was found to be an independent risk factor for complications for several arthroscopic procedures, though with variability between specific procedures.

 2019 Oct 12. doi: 10.1007/s00590-019-02577-2. [Epub ahead of print]