Venous thromboembolism rates after hip and knee arthroplasty and hip fracturesMula, V., Parikh, S., Suresh, S. et al.
The ideal thromboprophylaxis regime following lower limb arthroplasty and proximal femur fractures remains controversial. Guidelines disagree on the type of chemical prophylaxis, its dose or duration. This article describes a method of monitoring venous thromboembolism (VTE) rates following Total Hip (THA), Total Knee Arthroplasty (TKA) and surgery for hip fractures (NOF#).
Over 3 years, all patients investigated for VTE were analysed using Picture Archiving Communications System (PACS). All positive scans were then cross-referenced using PACS and local registry data to see if they had undergone THA, TKA or NOF# in the preceding 90 days. Mortality data were obtained from the national administrative database, Hospital Episode Statistics.
Five thousand seven hundred eighty-eight patients underwent investigation for VTE and there were 29 diagnoses of PE and 24 of DVT. There was a 0.77% rate of symptomatic DVT after THA, 0.05% after TKA and 0.55% after NOF #. The rate of confirmed symptomatic PE for THA was 0.46, 0.27% for TKA and 0.96% for NOF #. Mortality at one-year post-THA was 0.6, 0.6% for TKA and 25.9% after NOF#. All patients contacted either remained within the catchment area for the minimum 90 postoperative days or died within the catchment area.
The 90 day post-operative prevalence of symptomatic VTE of 1.2, 0.3 and 1.5% in THA, TKA and NOF # respectively are similar to other studies using symptomatic and imaging positive VTE as their endpoint. The study uses a method of collecting data which can be utilised in centres where PACS is available.