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Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2011 Feb;469(2):530-4. doi: 10.1007/s11999-010-1572-5.

Incidence of postthrombotic syndrome in patients undergoing primary total hip arthroplasty for osteoarthritis.

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  • 1Case Western Reserve University, University Hospitals Case Medical Center, 11100 Euclid Avenue, Hanna House, 6th Floor, Cleveland, OH 44106, USA.



Postthrombotic syndrome (PTS) is a chronic condition in the lower extremity that develops after deep vein thrombosis (DVT). The incidence of PTS after total hip arthroplasty (THA) is not well established.


We (1) determined the incidence of PTS after DVT in patients undergoing primary THA for osteoarthritis; and (2) determined whether the incidence of PTS was greater in patients with DVT than without.


We retrospectively reviewed records of all 1037 patients who underwent primary THA for osteoarthritis during a 4-year period. All patients underwent postoperative screening ultrasound. We identified 21 (2%) patients with a DVT by ultrasound of whom 14 had a minimum 1-year followup (mean, 3.4 years; range, 1.0-6.0 years). PTS was diagnosed if any two of the six clinical signs were documented.


Three of 14 patients with DVT had at least two signs consistent with PTS; two of these had a DVT proximal to the soleal arch. Three of 91 randomly matched patients undergoing THA without DVT had at least two signs of PTS. The incidence of developing PTS after THA appeared higher in patients with DVT than in patients without DVT.


While we observed a difference between the incidence of PTS after THA in patients with and without DVT, that incidence was based on only three of 1037 patients with DVT after THA. PTS does not appear to be a major complication after DVT in patients undergoing THA.


Level III, diagnostic study. See Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

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