Venous thromboembolism (VTE) events are rare, but serious complications of total joint replacement affect patients and health care systems due to the morbidity, mortality, and associated cost of its complications. There is currently no established universal standard of care for prophylaxis against VTE in patients undergoing revision total knee arthroplasty (rTKA). The aim of this study was to determine whether a protocol of 81-mg aspirin (ASA) bis in die (BID) is safe and/or sufficient in preventing VTE in patients undergoing rTKAs versus 325-mg ASA BID. In 2017, our institution adopted a new protocol for VTE prophylaxis for arthroplasty patients. Patients initially received 325-mg ASA BID for 1 month and then changed to a lower dose of 81-mg BID. A retrospective review from 2011 to 2019 was conducted identifying 1,438 consecutive rTKA patients and 90-day postoperative outcomes including VTE, gastrointestinal, and wound bleeding complications, acute periprosthetic joint infection, and mortality. In the 74 months prior to protocol implementation, 1,003 rTKAs were performed and nine VTE cases were diagnosed (0.90%). After 26 months of the protocol change, 435 rTKAs were performed with one VTE case identified (0.23%). There was no significant difference in rates or odds in postoperative pulmonary embolism (PE;  = 0.27), DVT ( = 0.35), and total VTE rates ( = 0.16) among patients using either protocol. There were also no differences in bleeding complications ( = 0.15) or infection rate ( = 0.36). No mortalities were observed. In the conclusion, 81-mg ASA BID is noninferior to 325-mg ASA BID in maintaining low rates of VTE and may be safe for use in patients undergoing rTKA.
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PubMed