Author(s): Bjrnar BT, Gudmundsen TE, Dahl OE
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Abstract Over a 13-year period we studied all patients who underwent major hip and knee surgery and were diagnosed with objectively confirmed symptomatic venous thromboembolism, either deep venous thrombosis or non-fatal pulmonary embolism, within six months after surgery. Low-molecular-weight heparin had been given while the patients were in hospital. There were 5607 patients. The cumulative incidence of symptomatic venous thromboembolism was 2.7\% (150 of 5607), of which 1.1\% had developed pulmonary embolism, 1.5\% had deep venous thrombosis and 0.6\% had both. Patients presented with deep venous thrombosis at a median of 24 days and pulmonary embolism at 17 days after surgery for hip fracture. After total hip replacement, deep venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism occurred at a median of 21 and 34 days respectively. After total knee replacement, the median time to the presentation of deep venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism was 20 and 12 days respectively. The cumulative risk of venous thromboembolism lasted for up to three months after hip surgery and for one month after total knee replacement. Venous thromboembolism was diagnosed after discharge from hospital in 70\% of patients who developed this complication. Despite hospital-based thromboprophylaxis, most cases of clinical venous thromboembolism occur after discharge and at different times according to the operation performed.
This article was published in J Bone Joint Surg Br
and referenced in Journal of Arthritis