Venous thromboembolism (VTE) (Deep vein thrombosis (DVT), and pulmonary embolism (PE)), is a common complication in patients undergoing total joint arthroplasty (TJA). Recently, aspirin was recommended by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) as VTE prophylaxis following TJA. This study investigates VTE rates in TJA patients using as thromboprophylaxis.
DVT was screened for in 396 consecutive total hip or knee arthroplasty procedures. Patients were treated with early mobilisation, calf compression device and 300 mg aspirin for 5 days and then 100 mg aspirin for 5 weeks. All patients received lower-limb duplex ultrasonography prior to discharge. Patients were clinically evaluated at 6 weeks post-op documenting any VTE.
51 TJA’s (12.87%) were complicated by VTE: one proximal, 47 distal DVT and 3 PE. No fatal PE occurred. Only four DVT were symptomatic. Of 159 THA, 2 (1.25%) had VTE: one distal DVT and one PE. Of 237 TKA, 49 (20.67%) had VTE: 1 proximal, 46 distal DVT and 2 PE. Patients with a history of diabetes and those receiving TKA were at higher risk of DVT.
Multimodal VTE prophylaxis demonstrated a low rate of proximal DVT, PE and bleeding complications. The rate of asymptomatic DVT was high, but most were distal and unlikely to be clinically significant. Patients with diabetes and those receiving TKA could be at higher risk of asymptomatic DVT, and may benefit from closer clinical assessment. These findings suggest aspirin is safe and efficacious when used in combination with mechanical compressors and early mobilisation. However, our findings require further validation, particularly with larger, prospective comparative studies.

© 2018.