Abhiram R. Bhashyam
Patients with musculoskeletal injuries who reported marijuana use during recovery saw an increase in the amount and duration of prescription opioids they used compared with patients who reported no previous use of marijuana, according to a recently published study.
“Self-reported marijuana use during injury recovery was associated with increased duration and use of opioids, in contrast to patients’ perception[s] that marijuana use reduced their pain and opioid intake,” Abhiram R. Bhashyam, MD, MPP, told Healio.com/Orthopedics. “Our results highlight the need for further study before clinical recommendations can be made regarding marijuana use for the alleviation of acute pain. However, our paper can hopefully enable orthopedic surgeons to have more informed discussions with patients regarding the risks and benefits of marijuana use following orthopedic surgery.”
Researchers identified 500 patients with a musculoskeletal injury who completed a survey about their marijuana use. Investigators categorized the patients as never users, prior users or users during recovery. Patients who used marijuana during recovery reported whether it provided pain relief or decreased opioid use. Investigators measured prescription opioid use as persistent opioid use, total prescribed opioids and duration of opioid use.
Results showed 39.8% of patients indicated they never used marijuana; 46.4% said they used marijuana before but not during recovery; and 13.8% said they used marijuana during recovery. The estimated rate of persistent opioid use was between 17.9% to 25.9%. Investigators noted this was not associated with marijuana use during recovery. There was an association between marijuana use during recovery and increased prescribed opioids and duration of use vs. no previous use.
According to researchers, marijuana use during recovery correlated with increased total prescribed opioids and duration of opioid use among patients who indicated marijuana decreased their opioid use compared with patients who did not use marijuana. – by Monica Jaramillo
Disclosures: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.