Its 2020 and the ¨Reefer Madness¨ campaigns of old are nearly at an end. As of late 2019, Thirty-three states (including Ohio) have instituted some form of a medical marijuana program for citizens safe legal access. If you’ve recently experienced musculoskeletal trauma, the odds are likely that you are facing a painful period of time in your life and want to explore your options for pain management.
The question is, is Medical Marijuana a viable option for your orthopedic pain?
Medical cannabis is still in its infancy in regards to research, but there is a plethora of anecdotal evidence that it can provide the type of relief you seek. It is commonly touted to relieve symptoms associated with nausea, anxiety, pain, spasticity (contractions of the muscle that cause stiffness or tightness), and a few chronic illnesses as well.
However, some pioneers in the medical field are taking a closer look at this option, and have concluded the following:
According to Harvard Health Publishing it can be extremely beneficial, especially in comparison to traditional opioid medicines.
¨In particular, marijuana appears to ease the pain of multiple sclerosis, and nerve pain in general. This is an area where few other options exist, and those that do, such as Neurontin, Lyrica, or opiates are highly sedating.¨
This can be a huge boon to patients who are concerned about the risk of opioid dependency, or have taken opioids in the past and are having to take increasing dosages to maintain pain management. Beyond this enlightening new evidence, Michael J. Weaver, MD, of Harvard Medical School Orthopedic Trauma Initiative conducted a survey in 2019 about the perception of medical marijuana use in patients with musculoskeletal issues and found that:
- 90% of patients who used marijuana during their recovery believed it reduced symptoms of pain.
- 81% of patients who used marijuana during their recovery believed it reduced the amount of opioid pain medication they used.
This evidence can create quite an enticing case for those who are looking to alleviate their pain from orthopedic injuries. But how do you know if this is the right option for you?
Before you delve into this option, it is important to understand the legal aspects of cannabis use. Federally, this is still viewed as an illegal activity in the USA; however, as of September 8th, 2016 Ohio passed House Bill 523 that allows state residents with specific conditions the legal right to obtain medical cannabis. The following list contains qualifying conditions here in Ohio:
- Chronic, severe or intractable pain from but not limited to:
- Severe, traumatic, chronic orthopedic injuries
- Restricted joint motion
- Failed total joint arthroplasty
- Painful scar tissue with joint contracture
- Failed spine surgery
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord disease or injury
- PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder)
- Hepatitis C
- Sickle cell anemia
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Chronic regional pain syndrome types 1 and 2 (RSD)
- Chronic refractory joint instability
- Multiple sclerosis
- Parkinson’s disease
- Crohn’s Disease
- Ulcerative Colitis
- Epilepsy or another seizure disorder
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease
- Tourette’s syndrome
If you have any of the following conditions and are seeking to use medical marijuana for relief, you should contact Dr Jonathan Paley at Dayton Orthopedic Surgery & Sports Medicine Center to discuss treatment options. It is very important to have a chat with your health care professional about potentially using cannabis, as it can react with other medications you are currently using. Be open and honest about your concerns and find a doctor who is knowledgeable in this sector or at least is willing to point you in the right direction to educate you on your options. Don’t hesitate, contact a caring Orthopedic physician today!
Dr Jonathan Paley at Dayton Orthopedic Surgery & Sports Medicine Center is one of the few physicians licensed to recommend medical marijuana in the Miami Valley, and among only a handful of Orthopedic Surgeons in the State. Call (937) 436-5763 to schedule your assessment today!