The Journal of Arthroplasty , Volume 33 , Issue 7 , S239 - S243

Venous Thromboembolism Following Total Knee Arthroplasty: Does Race Matter?

Owens, Jessell M. et al.


Venous thromboembolism (VTE) (deep venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism) is a known complication following total knee arthroplasty (TKA). Recent literature has identified differences in VTE risk based on race with African Americans having higher risk of VTE. This study evaluated the impact of race on VTE following TKA using a large multicenter database.


We queried the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program to identify patients who underwent primary TKA in 2010-2014. Patients were stratified based on race: Asian, Black/African American, White, and Other. Demographics were compared to determine the impact on 30-day postoperative complications. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was performed to control for confounding demographics and comorbidities between races. Primary outcomes included overall complications and VTE.


In total, 96,230 patients were included. Univariate analysis demonstrated that Blacks had a significantly higher rate of any complication (5.5%), deep venous thrombosis (1.3%), and pulmonary embolism (1.1%) than other races (P = .007, P < .001, and P < .001, respectively). Overall mortality rate did not differ between races (P = .26). Multivariate regression analysis identified that Blacks were significantly more likely to have a VTE than Whites (odds ratio 1.7, 95% confidence interval 1.4-2.0). Overall complications were significantly higher for Blacks than Whites (odds ratio 1.1, 95% confidence interval 1.02-1.3). There were no differences in the rates of VTE or overall complications between Asians/Other races and Whites.


Blacks have a significantly higher risk of VTE following primary TKA than other races. Future studies should investigate causes for this disparity.

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