Cannabis Users Less Likely to Face Complications After Spinal Fusion Surgery

There is limited literature investigating potential relationships, but a team of orthopedic specialists sought further answers. They ultimately found that patients with a history of cannabis use were less likely to actually experience adverse medical outcomes after thoracolumbar (lumbar) spinal fusion (TLF) surgery than non-users. discovered. The study “Effects of isolated baseline cannabis use on outcomes after thoracolumbar fusion: propensity score matching analysis” recently Iowa Orthopedic Journal..

Orthopedic specialists at the State University of New York (SUNY) Brooklyn’s University of Downstate Health Sciences analyzed the relationship between cannabis use and surgical outcomes in a cohort of 704 patients. Between January 2009 and September 2013, researchers contacted the New York-wide Planning and Collaboration Systems Database to identify all patients who underwent ASD TLF. To be included, the individual was 18 years of age or older and had a minimum of 90 days or 2 years of follow-up.

According to researchers, ASD is a series of disorders that appear in late adolescence or adulthood, including adult scoliosis, iatrogenic spinal deformity, and primary degenerative sagittal imbalance. The authors state that the prevalence of ASD is increasing as life expectancy increases, and more surgical corrections are expected in the future.

“Adult spinal malformations (ASD) patients whose baseline cannabis use is undergoing thoracolumbar fusion (TLF) due to changes in public opinion, widespread non-criminalization, and lack of objective data on the potential consequences of cannabis use. It is essential to identify how it affects the postoperative outcome of cannabis, “the study reads.

Half of the samples were identified as cannabis consumers, and the other half were not. The study considered comparing 90-day complications, 90-day readmissions, and 2-year revision rates between cannabis users and non-users.

Cannabis consumers experienced significantly lower complication rates in the 90 days immediately following surgery, with 2% for cannabis users and 4.1% for non-users. The overall incidence of complications was also higher for non-cannabis users compared to cannabis users, 4.8% vs. 2.4%, respectively. People with a history of cannabis use were less likely to seek postoperative readmission than non-users.

In their discussion, the authors reiterated the changing and often favorable perceptions of cannabis use in the United States and the need to further study the effects of cannabis on neuropathic pain management.

The results that cannabis is negatively associated with 90 days of medical complications are consistent with previous studies, the authors say. A study, “Marijuana use and mortality after orthopedic surgery” He noted a related reduction in mortality for cannabis users undergoing common orthopedic surgery. Another study, “Effects of marijuana use on the consequences of traumatic brain injury” Examination of patients with traumatic brain injury also found that cannabis users had a lower mortality rate than non-users.

However, the author points out that the findings are inconsistent with the 2020 study. “Effects of marijuana use on lumbar fusion” This showed no significant difference in complications between cannabis users and non-users undergoing lumbar fusion. However, they state that the study was performed on only 102 patients from a single surgeon.

“Compared to patients with ASD who underwent TLF without baseline cannabis, patients who used baseline cannabis alone had 90 days of surgical complications or readmissions or corrections 2 years after surgery. There was no increase in the odds suffered, but 90-daytime medical complications were observed, “the authors conclude.

“Future prospective randomized controlled trials may help further characterize the impact of isolated cannabis use on the postoperative course of surgical patients undergoing complex procedures such as thoracolumbar fusion for adult spinal malformations. There is sex. “

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