Use of Cannabis Does Not Decrease Opioid Consumption in Patients Who Underwent Total Joint Arthroplasty

Arthroplast Today. 2022 May 10;15:141-146. doi: 10.1016/j.artd.2022.03.018. eCollection 2022 Jun.

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The primary purpose of this study was to determine if cannabis use decreases narcotic consumption in patients undergoing total joint arthroplasty (TJA).

MATERIAL AND METHODS: Forty-six patients undergoing a primary unilateral TJA, who self-reported the use of cannabis, were prospectively enrolled and completed this study between July 2015 and November 2019. This cohort was prospectively matched to patients who did not report cannabis use. Morphine equivalents (MEs) were averaged and recorded at 1 and 2 weeks postoperatively. Secondary outcomes and complications were recorded and reported.

RESULTS: There were no differences noted in ME during the hospitalization between the user (78.7 ± 58.5) and nonusers (70.4 ± 46.3), P = .455. ME daily average did not differ between the cohorts (user [36.8 ± 30.7] and nonuser [31.7 ± 25.6] at 1 week (P = .389) or user [22.5 ± 26.3] and nonusers [15.9 ± 18.3] at 2 weeks, P = .164, postoperatively). The total ME at 2 weeks did not differ between the user and nonuser groups (415 ± 375 vs 333 ± 275, P = .235). Pain scores at 1 week were significantly higher in patients who used cannabis (4.1 ± 1.9 vs 3.4 ± 1.6, P = .05). No differences in pain were noted during the patient’s hospitalization or at 2- (P = .071) or 6-week (P = .111) follow-up. No differences in secondary outcomes or complications were noted.

CONCLUSION: We were unable to show a decrease in narcotic consumption in patients who use cannabis undergoing primary unilateral joint replacement. These findings do not support the routine use of cannabis to decrease or supplement narcotic use after primary TJA.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Level II therapeutic.

PMID:35586610 | PMC:PMC9108508 | DOI:10.1016/j.artd.2022.03.018

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