Pacira announced new study data evaluating the use of Exparel (bupivacaine liposome injectable suspension) for postsurgical pain management following total joint arthroplasty (TJA), which included hip and knee replacement surgery.

Data from the following two studies showed the benefits of Exparel in improving various key post-TJA outcomes including pain management, incidence of accidental falls, opioid consumption, and hospital stay/costs.

A prospective, case-control study compared 1,000 joint (hips and knees) replacements using Exparel-based multimodal therapy to 1,000 previous cases using standard pain management regimens (general, local and regional anesthesia pre- and perioperatively, and NSAIDs, APAP, and oral/IV narcotics for postoperative rescue). Using Exparel showed improved overall mean pain scores (1.98 vs. 2.41; P<0.0001) using a visual analog scale (VAS), as well as a higher percentage of VAS scores that were 0 (48.8% vs. 40.2%; P<0.0001). Results also showed a decreased length of hospital stay (2.66 vs. 2.83 days; P=0.0151) and a lower incidence of accidental falls (0.2% vs. 1.0%; P=0.0207).

RELATED: Pain Management Resource Center

The second study was a retrospective analysis of 72 knee replacements to assess whether Exparel use provided comparable pain control and lower postsurgical opioid use compared to continuous femoral nerve block. Study results showed that compared to patients treated with a continuous femoral nerve block, patients treated with Exparel reported comparable average pain scores (1.8 for Exparel vs. 2.3 for nerve block, using a VAS), significantly lower opioid consumption (82mg for Exparel vs. 176.6mg for nerve block, P=0.0000514), and no incidence of quadriceps weakness.

Exparel combines bupivacaine with DepoFoam, providing analgesia with reduced opioid requirements for up to 72 hours. Exparel is currently approved for administration into the surgical site to produce postsurgical analgesia.

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