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Postgrad Med J. 2006 Feb;82(964):136-9.

Incidence and risk factors for development of venous thromboembolism in Indian patients undergoing major orthopaedic surgery: results of a prospective study.

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Department of Orthopaedics, KEM Hospital, Parel, Mumbai, India 400013.



The incidence of venous thromboembolism (VTE) in Western populations undergoing major orthopaedic surgery without any thromboprophylaxis has been reported to range from 32% to 88%. There is however limited information on incidence of VTE in Indian patients and most of the Indian patients undergoing these surgeries do not receive any form of prophylaxis regardless of their risk profile.


A prospective study was performed on 147 patients undergoing major orthopaedic surgery for total knee replacement (TKR), total hip replacement (THR), and proximal femur fracture fixation (PFF) without any prophylaxis. These patients were profiled for presence of the known risk factors responsible for development of VTE. A duplex ultrasound on both lower limbs was done 6 to 10 days after surgery. Twenty three patients underwent THR, 22 patients underwent TKR, and 102 underwent surgery for PFF. The patients were assessed clinically for any signs of deep venous thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE). A helical CT scan was done in case of suspicion of PE and a duplex ultrasound was done in case of clinical suspicion of DVT irrespective of the stage of study.


The overall incidence of VTE was 6.12% and that of PE was 0.6%. The risk factors that were found to be significantly responsible for development of VTE (p < 0.05) were: immobility greater than 72 hours, malignancy, obesity, surgery lasting more than two hours.


The study reconfirms the belief that DVT has a lower incidence in Indian patients as compared with other ethnic groups.

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