PEORIA — Research conducted by the University of Illinois College of Medicine Peoria found the use of the non-narcotic anesthetic EXPAREL contributes to reduction in opioid use and length of hospital stay for patients undergoing knee replacement surgery.

Carl V. Asche, director of the Center for Outcomes Research, led the study.

“TKA is a painful surgical procedure, and inadequate pain control can delay recovery and increase length of hospital stay, opioid consumption and total hospitalization costs,” said Asche. “Our analysis provides strong evidence that EXPAREL plays an essential role in not only reducing opioid consumption and recovery time, but also improving clinical and economic outcomes for hospitals conducting TKA procedures.”

EXPAREL, which commercially launched in the United States in April 2012, is placed in or around the affected area by a doctor. The anesthetic is released over a long period of time for lasting pain relief, according to the company's website.

uses DepoFoam® product delivery technology which encapsulates drugs without altering their molecular structure and releases them over a desired period of time.

Results of the study were published in the Journal of Medical Economics and were based on a retrospective analysis from Jan. 2011 through April 2017 using data from 10 hospitals in the United States with the highest number of total knee arthroplasty procedures using EXPAREL.

Similar research on total hip arthroplasty found patients who received EXPAREL for THA had significant reduction in opioid use, length of hospital stay and overall hospitalization costs as well.

These findings were recently included in coverage by Bloomberg Government, Trends-In-Medicine, and in online content for Orthopedics Today.