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J South Orthop Assoc. 1996 Fall;5(3):181-4.

Deep vein thrombosis in lumbar spinal fusion: a prospective study of antiembolic and pneumatic compression stockings.

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  • 1Raleigh Orthopedic Clinic, NC 27612, USA.


We prospectively studied the incidence of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) of the thigh in 117 patients having posterior lumbar spinal fusion with instrumentation and bone grafting for degenerative disk disease or spondylolisthesis. Patients with neoplasm, infection, trauma, or history of DVT were excluded. Patients were randomized into two groups. In the operating room, group 1 patients were placed in thigh-high antiembolic compression stockings (TED hose), and group 2 patients were placed in antiembolic stockings and pneumatic compression stockings. In both groups, the stockings were used until discharge. Postoperatively, patients in both groups received 600 mg buffered aspirin twice daily. Comparative analysis of the two groups showed no difference in operative time, blood loss, number of levels of lumbar vertebrae fused, time to mobilization, weight, age, or sex. All patients had duplex scanning of the thigh postoperatively. No patient in the series was observed to have acute DVT by clinical examination or by ultrasonography.

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