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J Bone Joint Surg Br. 2007 Oct;89(10):1340-3.

Incidence of deep-vein thrombosis in patients with fractures of the ankle treated in a plaster cast.

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James Cook University Hospital, Marton Road, Middlesbrough TS4 3BW, UK.


Stable fractures of the ankle can be successfully treated non-operatively by a below-knee plaster cast. In some centres, patients with this injury are routinely administered low-molecular-weight heparin, to reduce the risk of deep-vein thrombosis (DVT). We have assessed the incidence of DVT in 100 patients in the absence of any thromboprophylaxis. A colour Doppler duplex ultrasound scan was done at the time of the removal of the cast. Five patients did develop DVT, though none had clinical signs suggestive of it. One case involved the femoral and another the popliteal vein. No patient developed pulmonary embolism. As the incidence of DVT after ankle fractures is low, we do not recommend routine thromboprophylaxis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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