The need for long-duration nonopioid pain relief after total knee arthroplasty has driven multimodal analgesic regimens, some of which include the administration of liposomal bupivacaine
It is unclear whether the use of liposomal bupivacaine is reliably associated with improvements in clinical or resource outcomes
What This Manuscript Tells Us That Is New:
Retrospective analysis of a national observational data set showed that liposomal bupivacaine use for total knee arthroplasty is increasing
Liposomal bupivacaine use was not associated with clinically meaningful reductions in inpatient opioid use, opioid-related complications, or resource utilization in patients who received modern pain management including a peripheral nerve block
Background: Although some trials suggest benefits of liposomal bupivacaine, data on real-world use and effectiveness is lacking. This study analyzed the impact of liposomal bupivacaine use (regardless of administration route) on inpatient opioid prescription, resource utilization, and opioid-related complications among patients undergoing total knee arthroplasties with a peripheral nerve block. It was hypothesized that liposomal bupivacaine has limited clinical influence on the studied outcomes.
Methods: The study included data on 88,830 total knee arthroplasties performed with a peripheral nerve block (Premier Healthcare Database 2013 to 2016). Multilevel multivariable regressions measured associations between use of liposomal bupivacaine and (1) inpatient opioid prescription (extracted from billing) and (2) length of stay, cost of hospitalization, as well as opioid-related complications. To reflect the difference between statistical and clinical significance, a relative change of −15% in outcomes was assumed to be clinically important.
Results: Overall, liposomal bupivacaine was used in 21.2% (n = 18,817) of patients that underwent a total knee arthroplasty with a peripheral nerve block. Liposomal bupivacaine use was not associated with a clinically meaningful reduction in inpatient opioid prescription (group median, 253 mg of oral morphine equivalents, adjusted effect −9.3% CI −11.1%, −7.5%; P < 0.0001) and length of stay (group median, 3 days, adjusted effect −8.8% CI −10.1%, −7.5%; P < 0.0001) with no effect on cost of hospitalization. Most importantly, liposomal bupivacaine use was not associated with decreased odds for opioid-related complications.
Conclusions: Liposomal bupivacaine was not associated with a clinically relevant improvement in inpatient opioid prescription, resource utilization, or opioid-related complications in patients who received modern pain management including a peripheral nerve block.