Patients who are dependent on marijuana may face higher infection rates following knee and shoulder arthroscopy-;a minimally invasive surgery in which a small camera is inserted to diagnose and sometimes treat injury-;according to a study presented at the Scientific Forum of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Clinical Congress 2022.
Using PearlDiver, a national insurance claims database, researchers from the University of Chicago performed a retrospective study of patients with marijuana dependence who underwent knee or shoulder arthroscopy for the postoperative complications of deep vein thrombosis (DVT), pulmonary embolism (PE), and infection.
“Marijuana has been gaining so much popularity, but it’s a risk factor we aren’t really catching,” said lead study author Sarah Bhattacharjee, MD, who conducted the research while she was a medical student at the University of Chicago. Dr. Bhattacharjee is now a surgical resident in orthopedic and sports medicine at the University of Washington. “The higher infection rate found by this new study should raise a ‘red flag’ for patients and providers and should be discussed along with other risk factors before an arthroscopic procedure.”
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