Recovering after knee surgery: How CBD and marijuana can help
With America being slow to warm to understanding cannabis’s role in medicine, a clinical trial sponsored by McMaster University in Canada is looking into the role of cannabis in post-surgical pain. Photo by iStock / Getty Images Plus
With knee pain, everything seems to be a chore. From climbing stairs, to getting in-and-out of the car, individuals that suffer from prolonged knee soreness and discomfort often benefit from surgery, with many stating that after-care can be almost as difficult as the pain itself. In fact, Googling “knee surgery aftercare” often brings up results in how to avoid surgery altogether.
However, delaying surgery can have subtle effects that patients often don’t realize. BoneSmart, a website by AESCULAP Implant Systems, found research on why delaying surgery could bring additional complications. From a risk of deformities to the increased inability to manage pain, BoneSmart also found that delaying the procedure could prolong time under anesthesia.
Recovering after knee surgery: How CBD and marijuana can help Back to video
The Arthritis Foundation also echoed the research of others like BoneSmart on the internet but added the caveat that most patients could make an informed decision with knowledge of weighing the pros and cons of having immediate surgery or choosing to delay the procedure.
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Additionally, the Foundation shared a study by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, showcasing the fact that demand for the total knee replacement procedure has been steadily rising since 2011, as has patient questions about avoiding opioid addiction and additional therapies available in after care.
Multiple studies have shown that THC and CBD offer an alternative to opioids and other pain medicines but often patients don’t know where to look for proven studies on the effects of cannabis on pain within the body. As Brandon May from Clinical Pain Advisor shares, “Research examining the therapeutic effects of CBD remains limited, as the majority of clinical studies focus on THC, which binds CB1 receptors rather than on CBD itself.”
The role of THC and CBD
With America being slow to warm to understanding cannabis’s role in medicine, a clinical trial sponsored by McMaster University in Canada is looking into the role of cannabis in post-surgical pain. In their trial brief, they explain:
“Medicinal cannabis has begun to emerge as a potential therapy for pain reduction and produces effects largely due to 2 active components: (1) cannabidiol (CBD), and (2) tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Studies of CBD have shown analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-anxiety properties, but without the psychoactive effects (feeling ‘high’) that THC produces. This study will assess the feasibility of a definitive trial to explore whether adding CBD vs. placebo to usual care before and after surgery can reduce the rate of persistent post-surgical pain after total knee replacement. This study will randomize 40 patients to receive either CBD or placebo and follow them for six months to confirm our ability to recruit patients, adhere to protocol, and capture full outcome data for at least 90% of patients.”
As the U.S. continues to struggle in hosting trials and studies due to the classification of cannabis, pressure continues to mount on all involved in healthcare to explore additional therapies.
How technology is improving patient outcomes
With many patients choosing to move forward with surgery, there seems to be a feeling of apprehension of what to expect after, as each individual’s recovery plan is usually customized. Medicare’s Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement Model started recommending immediate discharge after surgery instead of placing patients in after-care facilities, which some say has added depth to the opioid-epidemic for those unable to discontinue pain medicine at proper times.
Dr. Michael Suk, chair of Geisinger’s Musculoskeletal Institute, shared recently with Modern Healthcare that while after-surgery care is set individually with each patient, certain best practices are a guideline. These include timeframes for check-ins with the health care team and offering specific resources for education. Noticing a need to offer home-bound patients a way to connect to resources throughout their recovery, Dr. Suk and his team partnered with Force Therapeutics to offer an app that allows patients to not only have touchpoints with nurses and gives access to detailed care plans. Geisinger’s strategic partnership has helped create big cost savings, and helped patients feel empowered.
Other technologists and entrepreneurs have taken notice of recent trends in helping patients stay connected after surgery. The MyMobility app has been rolled out at Hoag Orthopedic Institute to allow patients to showcase their rehabilitation statistics (steps taken, amount of time spent in activity) so the care team can make further recommendations for follow-up care.
Technology is helping care teams to better align best practices with patients who may need extra support or experience hesitation at completing physical therapy at home with the added bonus that more frequent communication may help identity an opioid addiction, with more eyes and ears on care. However, patients must feel empowered to share that they are dependent on opioids, which often is kept silent due to a myriad of reasons.
Tackling opioid addictions after surgery
A 2018 report looked at opioid use after knee replacement surgery and found:
- While the number of opioid pills prescribed is dropping from 85 pills to 82, surgeons often feel pressure to prescribe more opioids than they feel are necessary.
- Patients were often prescribed more than double the 20 morphine milligram equivalents (MMEs) dose when many were given opioids of 50+ MMEs, which poses not only an overdose risk, but could lead to complications to the liver and body.
- Most interesting, patients undergoing a knee replacement surgery reported an incidence of later dependence of 15.2% versus the overall average of 12%, (an increase from a rate of 9% of a 2017 study.)
With opioid addiction facing unprecedented scrutiny, doctors and rehabilitation specialists are not only looking to new technologies to combat a dependence on painkillers, but also demonstrating a want to understand new ways of treating ancient issues of pain.
Here’s the bottom line
“Survey data indicates that the use of cannabis is common among patients with chronic pain and patients who use it for this indication typically report it to be an effective treatment. Majorities further report that cannabis possesses fewer side effects than conventional pain medications and that it provides greater symptom management than opioids.” (NORML.org)
NORML, a national organization committed to revamping the U.S.’ marijuana believes in the power of cannabis in relieving pain and other organizations are starting to post their own guides for patients. The Arthritis Foundation, The Rheumatoid Arthritis Support Network, and many more organizations are starting to give their members new information on CBD and THC for pain. Even more, other studies are popping up from around the world, hoping to recruit individuals who are recovering from knee surgery to identify the benefits of THC and CBD in after-care.
If you’re readying for surgery, consider discussing CBD and THC with your medical practitioner and care team. Not only might the compounds play a role in decreasing a long-term dependence on opioids, but they may also provide other benefits as well.
TheFreshToast.com, a U.S. lifestyle site, that contributes lifestyle content and, with their partnership with 600,000 physicians via Skipta, medical marijuana information to The GrowthOp.
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Use CBD To Fight With ACL Injury
ACL, Anterior Cruciate Ligament, injury is an injury in which your knee ligaments are critically damaged. For better understanding let’s dive little deeper. Our Knee Joint has a bone structure which is formed by femur, patella, and tibia. The knee is held together with the help of lateral collateral ligaments (LCL), medial collateral ligaments (MCL), posterior cruciate ligaments (PCL), and anterior cruciate ligaments (ACL). ACL is present in the middle of the knee which prevents the tibia from moving away from the femur. ACL also provides stability for knee movement. Our knee has a weight bearing surface which is covered by a layer of articular cartilage. The menisci act as shock absorbers and reduce the stress between femur and tibia.
The ACL injury is the most common injury of the ligaments in the knee. If you are involved in sports such as basketball, football, baseball, and skiing then you have a higher risk of ACL injury. In ACL injury, different parts of the knee joint are affected. Today in this article you will read all about the role of CBD in treating ACL injuries.
Symptoms Of ACL Injury
The common signs and symptoms of an ACL injury are as follows-
- Limited motion
- Popping sound or sensation in the knee
- Difficulty in walking
- Severe pain which increases with time
Possible Causes Of ACL Injury
Ligaments are strong tissues which connect one bone to another. ACL is the ligament and when this ligament is affected then you suffer from the ACL injury. Below there are some possible causes of the ACL injury.
- Sudden change in walking direction
- A sudden blow to knee
- Awkward landing after jumping
- Injury from sport activity
What is CBD or Cannabidiol?
CBD is a natural chemical compound which is extracted from the hemp plants through a different process. Extracted CBD has no strain of THC which makes it completely non-psychoactive in nature. With extensive research, scientists have stated that CBD is rich in different therapeutic properties such as anti-pain, anti-viral, anti-fungal, anti-inflammation, anti-stress. One of the best thing about CBD is that it is obtained in different forms such as oil, wax, tincture, and isolate.
Role Of CBD In ACL Injury
In ACL Injury you suffer from pain, stiffness, and swelling. CBD is rich in anti-pain and anti-inflammation properties which makes it beneficial against ACL injuries. Our body has an endocannabinoid system and different receptors such as CB1 and CB2 receptors. The main function of the endocannabinoid system is to maintain homeostasis of your body by regulating chemical reaction. When you consume CBD it interacts with this endocannabinoid system and reduces the chemical reaction which causes pain.
You can also use CBD topicals to get relief from pain, swelling, and inflammation. You can directly apply CBD topicals over the affected area to get its benefits. You can also use CBD oil in your food and drink as a supplement or you can orally consume it just by dropping a few drops of under your tongue. Consuming CBD in the vapor form is the quickest way to get benefit from CBD. If you are suffering from which is not letting you sleep then vaping is the quickest way to get relief from pain.
Follow R.I.C.E In ACL Injury
When suffering from ACL you suffer from chronic pain and swelling. It is better to follow R.I.C.E therapy in which rest, use of ice, compression, and elevation is involved. Rest is compulsory, use ice to massage the affected area for 20 minutes it will reduce swelling and inflammation from the affected area. Use band to compress and wrap the knee it will provide proper support. Whenever you lie down to use the pillow to keep your knee in propped position.
I have suffered from the ACL injury and CBD is the one that helped me. It provided me relief from pain, swelling, and even stress. The best thing was that I had zero side-effects from CBD.
In this article, you will find all the essential information related to CBD and ACL injury. By following other treatment option such as R.I.C.E you can also elevate the symptoms of ACL injury.