Smoking is an independent risk factor for complications following open rotator cuff repair

Matthew J. Best, Keith T. Aziz, Suresh K. Nayar, Ian S. Patten, Ankit Bansal, Eric Huish, Uma Srikumaran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: Smoking has been associated with poor cuff healing and worse long-term outcomes in patients undergoing rotator cuff repair. The effects of smoking on short-term complications following open rotator cuff repair are not well defined. The purpose of this study is to analyze the effects of smoking on 30-day outcomes following open rotator cuff repair. Methods: The American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program was used to identify patients who underwent open rotator cuff repair from 2011 to 2016. Patients who were current smokers (within 1 year prior to surgery) were identified and compared with nonsmokers. Demographic data and postoperative complications within 30 days were analyzed. Multivariable logistic regression was used to isolate the effect of smoking on complications after surgery. Results: We identified 5,157 patients who underwent open rotator cuff repair, of which 18% (946 patients) were current smokers (within 1 year of surgery). Smokers were younger (54.4 years versus 61.5 years, P < 0.001) and were more likely to be male (60.8% versus 56.9%, P = 0.03). Compared with nonsmokers, smokers had a similar rate of comorbidities (P = 0.35) and similar preoperative functional status (P = 0.53), but had higher mean American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) class (P < 0.001). Logistic regression revealed that smoking was an independent predictor for any complication (OR 1.9, P = 0.03), any venous thromboembolic event (OR 4.6, P = 0.01), and pulmonary embolism (OR 6.4, P = 0.02). Conclusion: Patients who smoke are at increased risk for short-term complications after open rotator cuff repair. Smoking is independently associated with increased rate of postoperative venous thromboembolic events such as pulmonary embolism. This further highlights the importance of preoperative smoking cessation in patients undergoing open rotator cuff repair.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)469-472
Number of pages4
JournalPhysician and Sportsmedicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2020


  • Open rotator cuff repair
  • complications
  • risk factor
  • smokers
  • smoking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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