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Am J Orthop (Belle Mead NJ). 1996 Feb;25(2):127-34.

Prophylaxis of deep venous thrombosis after total hip arthroplasty by using intermittent compression of the plantar venous plexus.

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Orthopedic Trauma Service, Brooke Army Medical Center, San Antonio, Texas, USA.


A randomized, prospective, blinded study comparing the efficacy of prophylaxis of deep venous thrombosis by using (A) heparin-aspirin therapy, (B) intermittent pulsatile pneumatic-pump compression of the plantar venous plexus, or (C) both methods, was conducted in patients undergoing elective total hip replacement arthroplasty. Duplex ultrasonography was obtained in all 75 patients before surgery, at 1 week, and 2 weeks after surgery, to detect the presence or absence of deep venous thrombosis, with venograms confirming all positive results. Five of 25 patients in group A (heparin-aspirin) developed deep vein thrombosis. No deep venous thrombi were detected in groups B or C. One pulmonary embolus was detected in group A. The reduction in detectable deep venous thrombosis by the use of intermittent compression of the plantar venous plexus was significant. Wound drainage was decreased by 2 to 3 days (P < 0.05) in group B. It is concluded that, in this group of 75 consecutive patients, intermittent pulsatile compression of the plantar venous plexus was superior to heparin/aspirin pharmacologic prophylaxis for the prevention of deep venous thrombosis proximal to the calf.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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