Rochester, MI: Patients with a history of cannabis use who undergo total joint arthroplasty (a/k/a TJA, a surgical procedure in which a joint is replaced using medical hardware) have shorter hospital stays as compared to non-users and are no more likely to suffer from post-operative complications, according to data published in the journal Arthroplasty.
A team of investigators affiliated with Oakland University’s William Beaumont School of Medicine and with the Detroit Medical Center, Department of Orthopedic Surgery and Sports Medicine assessed post-operative outcomes in a cohort of over 8.7 million patients.
Investigators reported that patients with a history of cannabis use were more likely than non-users to be younger and they spent significantly less time hospitalized post-surgery. There were no significant differences in the overall complication rates between groups.
Patients with a history of cannabis consumption “had significantly shorter length of stay and higher rates of home discharge following primary TJA compared to the control group,” authors concluded. “Progressive legalization of cannabis use makes it increasingly important for clinicians to understand the characteristics of this evolving patient population. As this growing population continues to evolve, understanding their comorbidities, behavioral characteristics, and postoperative clinical and economic outcomes allow orthopedic surgeons and the multidisciplinary healthcare teams to better tailor their care and management of these patients.”
Separate data published last year in the journal Arthroplasty Today reported that patients who self-report consuming cannabis following hip or knee surgery were less likely than non-users to engage in the long-term use of prescription opioids. The authors of that study concluded, “Self-reported perioperative cannabis use appeared to significantly reduce the number of patients that persistently used opioids greater than 90 days after TJA from 9.5 percent to 1.4 percent.”
Other studies have reported contrary findings, including a paper recently published in The Lancet which determined that patients diagnosed cannabis use disorder more often required advanced post-procedural health care than did those with no recent history of use.
Full text of the study, “Cannabis use disorder is associated with a shorter length of stay and increased home discharge after primary total joint arthroplasty: A propensity-weighted analysis,” appears in Arthroplasty.