The Efficacy of Liposomal Bupivacaine in Regional Nerve Blocks for Below Knee Amputations

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The American surgeon


Postamputation pain is highly prevalent. Opioids are often utilized postoperatively; however, they have significant side effects. Liposomal bupivacaine (LB) was introduced to extend nerve blocks from hours into days. Regional nerve blocks with LB for below knee amputation (BKA) is a novel approach which may reduce opioid use after surgery. A retrospective review was conducted for patients who had received LB nerve blocks compared to none for postoperative pain control in BKAs. Daily average opioid consumption was evaluated from the time in postoperative acute care unit until day of discharge in oral morphine equivalents (OME). 69 patients who underwent below knee amputations were reviewed. The mean average daily OME was lower in the LB group compared to control group(25.0 vs 50.5 OME, respectively; = .002) A higher percentage of patients in the study group were categorized in the minimal opioid use when compared to the control group LB regional nerve blocks for the BKA population are considered a novel approach in pain control. Our exploratory study shows that patients who received LB nerve blocks may have decreased opioid consumption after surgery.

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