New Study Finds Smoking Hinders ACL Reconstruction

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Los Angeles orthopedic surgeon Eric S. Millstein, M.D., discusses recent findings showing the negative impact cigarette smoking has on the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and what this means for prolonging the health of both athletes and non-athletes.

Dr. Eric Millstein

Modern advancements in minimally invasive surgery and more effective treatments than ever mean that each patient is able to receive the treatment that is right for their specific ACL injury.

According to a recent study highlighted by a MPR article, cigarette smoking can have a negative impact on the health of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). The study, conducted at the Yonsei University College of Medicine in South Korea and originally published in The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery, showed that smoking has a negative impact on the chances of success for ACL surgery and leads to greater knee instability.

Experienced ACL surgeon Dr. Eric S. Millstein has spent years aiding patients in recovering from devastating ACL injuries. While the ACL can suffer a serious injury in a single accident, there are many health conditions that can create a higher chance of suffering from the knee injury. Because this ligament plays a large role in all knee functions, restoring it to health as soon as possible is vital for the future of an athlete’s career and anyone’s overall well-being.

“The human body’s muscles and ligaments are directly affected by a person’s overall health. By addressing the habits, illnesses, and outside factors that compromise a patient’s health, surgeons can have the best results possible when repairing or replacing the ACL,” said Dr. Millstein.

During the course of the study, researchers conducted a retrospective review of 251 patients who underwent unilateral ACL reconstruction that used bone-patellar tendon-bone autografts. These operations took place from January 2002 through August 2009 and researchers looked at preoperative values and 24-month postoperative findings. By comparing the results for nonsmokers, former smokers, and current smokers, researchers found that light, moderate, and heavy smokers all suffered from far greater knee instability than those who did not smoke, with heavy smokers suffering the most instability.

As an experienced ACL surgeon in Los Angeles, Dr. Eric S. Millstein has helped countless patients restore their knees and return to a healthy life. Through skilled ACL surgery, athletes have been able to return to their careers without physical limitations and non-athletes have been able to return to a fulfilling work and home life. Through the use of ACL repair, ACL reconstruction, a wide variety of graft choices, and a focus on post-operation rehabilitation, patients of Dr. Millstein’s are able to find the best chances for full and complete recovery from ACL injuries.

“Every patient will have his or her own path to recovery,” said Dr. Millstein. “However, modern advancements in minimally invasive surgery and more effective treatments than ever mean that each patient is able to receive the treatment that is right for their specific ACL injury.”

Dr. Millstein graduated with AOA honors and academic awards from the School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, and then completed his orthopedic residency training at the University of Chicago. Dr. Millstein also spent 18 months at the Southern Orthopedic Institute in Van Nuys as a fellow in Sports Medicine and Arthroscopic surgery and continues to study, teach, and utilize the most current techniques in both joint preservation and joint replacement surgery. Dr. Millstein is Board Certified by the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery and has presented research on long-term outcomes of ACL reconstruction and arthroscopic rotator cuff repair. He is a member of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons and the Arthroscopy Association of North America.

If you would like to learn more about Dr. Eric Millstein, please call 310.595.1030 or visit

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