The Journal of Arthroplasty, Volume 34, Issue 9, 2166 - 2183

The Efficacy of Liposomal Bupivacaine Over Traditional Local Anesthetics in Periarticular Infiltration and Regional Anesthesia During Total Knee Arthroplasty: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Yayac, Michael et al.


Since its Food and Drug Administration approval in 2011 as a local anesthetic for postsurgical analgesia, liposomal bupivacaine (LB) has been incorporated into the periarticular injection (PAI) of many knee surgeons. The slow release of this medication from vesicles should significantly extend the duration of its analgesic effect, but current evidence has not clearly demonstrated this benefit.


We systematically searched electronic databases including PubMed, MEDLINE, Cochrane Library, EMBASE, ScienceDirect, and Scopus, as well as the Journal of Arthroplasty web page for relevant articles. All calculations were made using Review Manager 5.3.


We identified 42 studies that compared LB to an alternate analgesic modality. Seventeen of these studies were controlled trials that were included in meta-analysis. Significant differences were seen in pain scores with LB over a peripheral nerve block (mean difference = 0.45, P = .02) and LB over a traditional PAI (standard mean difference = −0.08, P = .004).


While LB may offer a statistically significant benefit over a traditional PAI, the increase in pain control may not be clinically significant and it does not appear to offer a benefit in reducing opioid consumption. However, there is no standardization among current studies, as they vary greatly in design, infiltration technique, and outcome measurement, which precludes any reliable summarization of their results. Future independent studies using a standardized protocol are needed to provide clear unbiased evidence.

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