The Journal of Arthroplasty, Volume 31, Issue 9, 180 - 186

Individualized Risk Model for Venous Thromboembolism After Total Joint Arthroplasty

Parvizi, Javad et al.
Hip Knee


Venous thromboembolism (VTE) after total joint arthroplasty (TJA) is a potentially fatal complication. Currently, a standard protocol for postoperative VTE prophylaxis is used that makes little distinction between patients at varying risks of VTE. We sought to develop a simple scoring system identifying patients at higher risk for VTE in whom more potent anticoagulation may need to be administered.


Utilizing the National Inpatient Sample data, 1,721,806 patients undergoing TJA were identified, among whom 15,775 (0.9%) developed VTE after index arthroplasty. Among the cohort, all known potential risk factors for VTE were assessed. An initial logistic regression model using potential predictors for VTE was performed. Predictors with little contribution or poor predictive power were pruned from the data, and the model was refit.


After pruning of variables that had little to no contribution to VTE risk, using the logistic regression, all independent predictors of VTE after TJA were identified in the data. Relative weights for each factor were determined. Hypercoagulability, metastatic cancer, stroke, sepsis, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease had some of the highest points. Patients with any of these conditions had risk for postoperative VTE that exceeded the 3% rate. Based on the model, an iOS (iPhone operating system) application was developed (VTEstimator) that could be used to assign patients into low or high risk for VTE after TJA.


We believe individualization of VTE prophylaxis after TJA can improve the efficacy of preventing VTE while minimizing untoward risks associated with the administration of anticoagulation.

Download article