How common is venous thromboembolism after total joint arthroplasty? 5 study insights

Written by Jessica Kim Cohen | October 25, 2016 | Print  |

A study in Journal of Arthroplasty found that the incidence of venous thromboembolism following total joint arthroplasty surgery has decreased over the past decade.

The researchers estimated the number of patients who underwent total hip arthroplasty and total knee arthroplasty between the years of 2002 and 2011 using the Nationwide Inpatient Sample. They investigated the rate of in-hospital deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism complications, associated length of hospitalization and projected in-hospital charges for these patients.


Here's what you need to know:


1. Revision arthroplasty had a 2.5 percent incidence of venous thromboembolism; primary total joint arthroplasty had a 1.6 percent incidence of venous thromboembolism.


2. Primary TKA had a 1.01 percent incidence of venous thromboembolism; Primary THA had a 0.59 percent incidence of venous thromboembolism.


3. Revision THA had a 1.35 percent incidence of venous thromboembolism; revision TKA had a 1.16 percent incidence of venous thromboembolism.


4. The overall rate of venous thromboembolism has decreased over the last decade; however, the overall rate of pulmonary embolism has remained constant.


5. However, the associated costs with venous thromboembolism have increased over the last decade; patients with venous thromboembolism consistently have long lengths of stay.


The researchers conclude that the reduced rates of venous thromboembolism over the decade studied "may indicate that the current recommendations by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) for VTE prophylaxis are adequate for preventing DVT without increasing the rate of PE or that institutional screening and reporting of DVT has been reduced since DVTs became a 'never' event."


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