Bone Joint J 2015;97-B:1447–55.

Iatrogenic vascular injuries during arthroplasty of the hip

Z. Alshameeri, R. Bajekal, K. Varty, V. Khanduja

Vascular injuries during total hip arthroplasty (THA) are rare but when they occur, have serious consequences. These have traditionally been managed with open exploration and repair, but more recently there has been a trend towards percutaneous endovascular management.


We performed a systematic review of the literature to assess if this change in trend has led to an improvement in the overall reported rates of morbidity and mortality during the last 22 years in comparison with the reviews of the literature published previously.


We found a total of 61 articles describing 138 vascular injuries in 124 patients. Injuries because of a laceration were the most prevalent (n = 51, 44%) and the most common presenting feature, when recorded, was bleeding (n = 41, 53.3%). Delay in diagnosis was associated with the type of vascular lesion (p < 0.001) and the clinical presentation (p = 0.002).


Open exploration and repair was the most common form of management, however percutaneous endovascular intervention was used in one third of the injuries and more constantly during the last 13 years.


The main overall reported complications included death (n = 9, 7.3%), amputation (n = 2, 1.6%), and persistent ischaemia (n = 9, 7.3%). When compared with previous reviews there was a similar rate of mortality but lower rates of amputation and permanent disability, especially in patients managed by endovascular strategies.

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