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J Arthroplasty. 2016 Aug;31(8):1702-5. doi: 10.1016/j.arth.2016.01.037. Epub 2016 Jan 30.

Is There a Benefit for Liposomal Bupivacaine Compared to a Traditional Periarticular Injection in Total Knee Arthroplasty Patients With a History of Chronic Opioid Use?

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Division of Adult Reconstruction, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, NYU Langone Medical Center Hospital For Joint Diseases, New York, New York.
Division of Orthopaedic Surgery, Sorasky Medical Center, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel.
Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Care, University of California Irvine Medical Center, Orange, California.



Postoperative pain after total knee arthroplasty (TKA) poses a major challenge. It delays mobilization, increases opioid consumption and side effects, and lengthens hospitalization. This challenge multiplies when treating an opioid-dependent population. We examined whether a novel suspended release local anesthetic, liposomal bupivacaine (LB) would improve pain control and decrease opioid consumption after TKA compared to a standard periarticular injection in opioid-dependent patients.


Thirty-eight patients undergoing TKA were randomly assigned to receive either a periarticular injection (PAI) with LB (n = 20) or with a standard PAI (including a combination of ropivacaine, clonidine, Toradol, Epinepherine, and saline; n = 18) as part of a multimodal pain management approach. All periarticular injections were done by a single surgeon. Perioperative treatment was similar between groups. Postoperative information regarding pain level was evaluated by a pain visual analog scale score. Postoperative opioid consumption was recorded.


After controlling baseline narcotic usage before surgery, no differences were found between groups in daily postoperative narcotic usage (P = .113), average daily pain score (P = .332), or maximum daily pain score (P = .881). However, when examining pain levels separately for each day, pain visual analog scale scores were reported higher in post operative day 1 in the LB group (P = .033).


LB was not found to be superior to standard PAI in opioid-dependent patients undergoing TKA. This patient population continues to present a challenge even with modern multimodal pain protocols.


liposomal bupivacaine; multimodal pain management; opioid dependence; periarticular injection; total knee arthroplasty

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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