Cannabis use disorder is associated with shorter length of stay and increased home discharge after primary total joint arthroplasty: a propensity-weighted analysis


Increased legalization of cannabis use across the United States has been correlated with increased cannabis use in the clinical setting. However, little is known regarding the characteristics and postoperative outcomes after primary joint arthroplasty (TJA) for patients with cannabis use disorder (CUD).


This retrospective cohort study used data from the National Inpatient Sample of patients undergoing primary TJA between 2006 to 2015. Patients were grouped based on presence of concomitant CUD. Patient demographic characteristics and outcome data between groups were analyzed. Propensity score methodology was used to compare immediate in-hospital complications and economic outcomes.


A total of 8,740,798 TJAs were included. The prevalence of CUD increased nearly five-fold from 0.05% to 0.26% during this time (P < 0.0001). CUD patients were significantly younger, more likely to be male, most frequently of non-Hispanic Black race, and had higher rates of Medicaid insurance. Patients with CUD had a significantly shorter length of hospital stay (3.04 vs. 3.24 days, P = 0.0297), while incurring significantly higher daily ($22,614 vs. $17,955, P < 0.0001) and total charges during admission ($58,507 vs. $50,924, P < 0.0001), compared to patients without CUD. When compared with the control group, CUD was associated with significantly greater odds of home discharge (odds ratio (OR): 1.45, P = 0.0007), and significantly lower odds of rehab discharge (OR: 0.70, P = 0.0013). There were no differences in overall complication profile or in the vast majority of individual in-hospital complications between groups.


While CUD is correlated to shorter length of stay and increased home discharge after TJA, it does not show a strong effect on complications in an inpatient postoperative setting. It is important for clinicians to appreciate the demographic profile and expected clinical and economic outcomes for patients with CUD undergoing TJA, particularly in the context of evolving laws surrounding cannabis use.


Cannabis use disorder; Complications; Demographics; Epidemiology; Outcomes; Total hip arthroplasty; Total joint arthroplasty; Total knee arthroplasty.

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