Clinical Outcomes of Liposomal Bupivacaine Erector Spinae Block in Minimally Invasive Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion Surgery

Neurosurgery 92:590–598, 2023

Postoperative pain is a barrier to early mobility and discharge after lumbar surgery. Liposomal bupivacaine (LB) has been shown to decrease postoperative pain and narcotic consumption after transforaminal lumbar interbody fusions (TLIFs) when injected into the marginal suprafascial/subfascial plane-liposomal bupivacaine (MSSP-LB). Erector spinae plane (ESP) infiltration is a relatively new analgesic technique that may offer additional benefits when performed in addition to MSSP-LB.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate postoperative outcomes of combining ESP-LB with MSSP-LB compared with MSSP-LB alone after single-level TLIF.

METHODS: A retrospective analysis was performed for patients undergoing single-level TLIFs under spinal anesthesia, 25 receiving combined ESP-LB and MSSP-LB and 25 receiving MSSP-LB alone. The primary outcome was length of hospitalization. Secondary outcomes included postoperative pain score, time to ambulation, and narcotics usage.

RESULTS: Baseline demographics and length of surgery were similar between groups. Hospitalization was significantly decreased in the ESP-LB + MSSP-LB cohort (2.56 days vs 3.36 days, P = .007), as were days to ambulation (0.96 days vs 1.29 days, P = .026). Postoperative pain area under the curve was significantly decreased for ESP-LB + MSSP-LB at 12 to 24 hours (39.37 ± 21.02 vs 53.38 ± 22.11, P = .03) and total (44.46 ± 19.89 vs 50.51 ± 22.15, P = .025). Postoperative narcotic use was significantly less in the ESP-LB + MSSP-LB group at 12 to 24 hours (13.18 ± 4.65 vs 14.78 ± 4.44, P = .03) and for total hospitalization (137.3 ± 96.3 vs 194.7 ± 110.2, P = .04).

CONCLUSION: Combining ESP-LB with MSSP-LB is superior to MSSP-LB alone for single level TLIFs in decreasing length of hospital stay, time to ambulation, postoperative pain, and narcotic use.