Reducing opioid utilization with liposomal bupivacaine in postoperative lumbar spine procedures
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The opioid epidemic has been an ongoing concern since the 1990's, and the number of opioid overdose deaths has quadrupled since 1999. Recent actions have been taken to educate the public and guide opioid prescribing guidelines however, the rate of opioid overdose deaths increased by 5 from 2018 to 2019. Multiple studies have shown that patients who take opioids for acute pain have a greater likelihood of long term opioid use, abuse, and overdose. Due to the increasing rate of opioid abuse, there is a great need for alternatives to opioid analgesics for postoperative pain management. In lumber spine procedures, most patients require some form of opioid pain medication for pain control. Liposomal bupivacaine is a local anesthetic that has been found to last up to 72 hours post injection. Liposomal bupivacaine use has proven to be efficacious in reducing postoperative pain and opioid utilization in several surgical settings, but its utility in spine procedures has yet to be established.
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