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Acta Orthop Belg. 2002 Apr;68(2):128-34.

Prevention of thromboembolic disease after non-cemented hip arthroplasty. A multimodal approach.

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  • 1Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, New York University Medical Center-Hospital for Joint Diseases, USA.


Thromboembolism following total hip arthroplasty is a common complication that may result in significant morbidity and mortality. Despite this, optimal prophylactic regimen is controversial. We investigated the efficacy of a comprehensive approach encompassing the use of aspirin, intermittent compression devices ('foot pumps'), and early mobilization in a cohort of 200 consecutive patients after non-cemented total hip replacements. The surgical procedures were carried out under epidural anesthesia in most cases (91%). All patients were allowed full weight bearing and received ambulation training starting on the first post-operative day. Ankle-high pneumatic boots ('foot pumps') and aspirin (325 mg p.o./qd) were used immediately after surgery. The presence of deep vein thrombosis was determined with the routine use of venous duplex scans on post-operative day number 5 to 10 (mean 6.8). The duration of the follow-up was 3 months. No patients were lost to follow-up. Four distal DVT's (2%) were detected in three patients. None of the patients developed symptomatic pulmonary embolism during the follow-up period. There were no major wound complications. Venous thromboembolic disease after hip replacement surgery is largely associated with postoperative immobilization and venous stasis. It is the authors' opinion that a prevention strategy should include mechanical as well as pharmacological measures. The concomitant use of epidural anesthesia, "foot pumps", aspirin and early full weight bearing ambulation may be effective in further reducing the incidence of DVT after surgery.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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