May 18, 2020
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Many orthopedic patients believe marijuana may be beneficial for pain management

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A survey on marijuana use among orthopedic patients showed many believe marijuana is beneficial for managing pain and other medical conditions.

Geoffrey S. Marecek
Geoffrey S. Marecek

Geoffrey S. Marecek, MD, and colleagues used a voluntary questionnaire to collect patient demographics as well as the frequency of, methods of and reasons for marijuana use among 275 patients undergoing orthopedic surgery. Researchers categorized patients as marijuana users if they had used marijuana in the past year.

Results showed 34% of patients endorsed marijuana use in the past year, with 55% of patients who used marijuana endorsing marijuana use either daily or weekly. The most common means of marijuana use was smoking (90%), followed by edible products (35%) and vaporizing (24%), according to results. Researchers found the most commonly cited reasons for marijuana use were pain management (54%) and recreation (52%). If their physician said marijuana use would adversely affect their surgery, 86% of patients who used marijuana reported they would stop using marijuana.

Researchers found the most commonly cited reasons for marijuana use among orthopedic patients were pain management (54%) and recreation (52%).
Researchers found the most commonly cited reasons for marijuana use among orthopedic patients were pain management (54%) and recreation (52%).

“Patients perceive marijuana use as beneficial but will stop if told it is harmful. This is important going forward because we know very little about the effects of marijuana on our patients’ outcomes,” Marecek told Healio Orthopedics. “Some components of marijuana may help with fracture healing, but recent studies have suggested higher rates of venous thromboembolism with marijuana use. It is incumbent on us to study this and counsel our patients appropriately, because they say they will listen.” – by Casey Tingle

Disclosure: Marecek reports no relevant financial disclosures.