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Progress in Orthopedic Science ISSN: 2146 - 8370
Progress in Orthopedic Science. 2016; 4(1):(27-85)

Prophylaxis of venous thromboembolism in knee replacement surgery

Carlo Rostagno, Christian Carulli, Alessandro Cartei, Claudia Ranalli, Massimo Curcio, Alessandra Cammilli, Gian Luca Polidori, Massimo Innocenti

Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is still a frequent and sometimes severe complication after knee replacement surgery. Both pharmacological and non-pharmacological measures have been widely used to decrease VTE risk.   Non pharmacological treatment include measures directed to decrease the effects of blood stasis, intermittent pneumatic compression device (IPCD) and graduated compression stockings, and mechanical devices. Pharmacological prophylaxis of venous thromboembolism (VTE) is associated with a more significant decrease in the incidence of  deep venous thrombosis (DVT) and related complications after knee arthroplasty however anticoagulation   may increase the risk of postoperative bleeding and related complications, in particular the need for re-intervention. Aim of present review was to suggest practical approach to DVT prophylaxis in patients undergoing knee arthroplasty. Although parenteral drugs (low dose unfractionated heparin, low molecular weight heparin and fondaparinux) are the more frequently employed agents, limited compliance may be a concern. Recent studies suggest that direct oral anticoagulants, antithrombin and anti Xa agent, might be a useful alternative although safety may limited by an higher rate of local bleeding.