…rounding 1st base…POP!

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Nicotine inhibits healing?

Anyone elses doc tell them that Nicotine inhibits the body from repairing microtears in tendons?  He saw that I checked off nicotine use on my pre-op forms and strongly recommended that I stop using immediately.  Actually he pretty much ordered me to stop.  I googled it and found some rat studies that did indeed support my doc claims.  The studies dealt more with tendons removed from the bone, not ruptures though.  Needless to say I have stopped using smokeless tobacco (old baseball habits die hard) in fear that I’m not giving my body a fair fight against this injury.  


On a side note I went to a softball buddy’s house last night and he told me he thinks I came in contact with the 1st baseman of the other team when I injured myself.  He was coaching 1st at the time and is almost positive that I was tripped (accidentally) or that somehow we got tangled up as I rounded the bag.  A couple of my other teammates who witnessed it also agreed.  The kid wasnt used to that position so he was all over the place that night.  I had a feeling that I made contact with him but it happened soo fast I wasnt sure.  Then I read on here that it feels like someone kicks you when you rupture it soo I just figured it went on its own.  It was all such a blur.

I almost feel better now, in a weird way.  I dont feel like my body failed me anymore.



And one more thing: Heres a big “thank you” to Dennis for this website and to all the others who contribute their stories on here.  One of the things I really look forward to after work is reading all the new posts and comments as I take that boot off and ice and elevate.  It feels good to know that others are going thru the same challenges, frustrations, mini milestones and successes, trials and tribulations.  Its easy to feel like youre the only one whos ever suffered this injury and this blog gives me a real sense of community…Thanks guys!!


11 Responses to “Nicotine inhibits healing?”

  1. matts Says:

    Yeah Thanks Dennis! This is a great site. Walshie-I am always trying to show off…haha On a side note, I tripped on a chair in my boot and almost fell down, but the boot held strong and my tendon was a-ok. I kept thinking after reading Daveleft e-mail about the strength of the boot and maybe it is not that strong.

  2. dennis Says:

    walshie -
    Thanks for your posts. As I mentioned on daveleft’s blog, we are all in this together, and we all have a common goal of complete recovery. All of our posts and comments have really helped me stay positive with the recovery, and I am glad that we can share our experiences with the people who can really “get” what we are going through.

  3. Tom Says:

    Walshie - I spoke with my doc about the nicotine affects. I’m not a smoker and I don’t chew, but the topic came up in conversation. We were discussing the pros and cons of surgery and he asked if I used tobacco. After answering no, I asked why that was a factor. He explained that tobacco users are not good candidates for surgery because there can be more complications. Tobacco use reduces the oxygen level in the blood which can slow the healing process. Wound healing issues are already a concern with the achilles because there is limited blood flow to that area. While he didn’t speak directly to the affects on tendon healing, I’m guessing it’s similar. Maybe our achillesblog resident medical experts can provide a little more detail?

  4. tennisjunkie Says:

    Good news - that you stopped chewing tobacco. I am sure it was not easy, particularly with the stress that comes with this. Well done!

  5. walshie Says:

    Good info, thanks a lot.

    Thanks, the 1st 10 ten days were torture but I’m over it now. It was a little easier b/c I usually dip when I play golf and w this injury I obviously cannot play for awhile. No golf, no dip…now what do I do when I start playing again? I dunno.

  6. matts Says:

    Walshie-I forgot to answer your question on my blog. I have not worn that brace yet. My therapist wants me to check with my doctor before I do. How does it feel? Think that it works?

  7. Doc Ross Says:


    Nicotine is B….A…..D, It is a vasoconstrictor of blood vessels. Which means there is less blood flow to profuse through tissues. Surgeons hate users as they usually take longer to heal, more scar tissue formation, less mobility means poorer outcomes and makes them look bad. You should quit not just for this injury but for a thousand other reasons.
    As for what else to do during golf…..gamble, pray and admire the scenery.
    Keep up the good work and let me know when the ATR open is.

    Doc Ross

  8. walshie Says:

    Thanks, doc. There is a rumor circulating that the finalists for the location of the Inagural ATR Open are as follows:

    Las Vegas (my personal fav so far), Scottsdale, San Diego and Orlando.

    All are warm locales because this chump golf pro cant get away in-season.

    I’m serious about this. I can set it up…do it all the time w members. I’ve taken upwards of 30 guys to Ireland, San Fran, SW Florida…

    Whos with me??? (Animal House ref.)

    How much would a bronzed boot cost? Or maybe a string of cadaver ATs to be placed around the winners neck? That might be cheaper.

    matty, no brace yet, they sent it to the wrong address..typical! I’ll let you know

  9. withnail Says:

    I quit 18months ago … but 6 weeks of ATR and no exercise has had me craving cigarettes so badly. I actually begged my wife to take me to the shops to get some smokes but she refused … I had no other way of getting them! So thanks for these posts and reminding me why I should stay off the tobacco!

  10. daveleft Says:

    Thanks to Walshie, Tom and Doc Ross…I had me a LOST WEEKEND weekend. I was a long term Nicorette user. Read this post and decided to finally quit the gum the day after my second surgery. First day fine…second and third days…I was seeing bats on the ceiling. A perfect storm of the good stuff from surgery wearing off, stopping the damn Percocet and the nicotine withdrawal, it was…well…quite sucky. Day Four and I’m good to go now.

    I had put down nicotine gum on all my pre-op paperwork but all anyone told me was not to chew gum twelve hours before surgery. I’m really surprised no one mentioned the info y’all did (even found a study about this without rats: http://tinyurl.com/63q59b). Have no idea if it was a contributing factor to my re-rupture but I ain’t taking no chances.

    Again, thanks for the discussions like this around here. They are truly life altering.

  11. walshie Says:

    dave and withnail: Good work! I know how hard it is and thats quite an accomplishment!

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