Elective hip and knee arthroplasty and the effect of rivaroxaban and enoxaparin thromboprophylaxis on wound healing

Katia Sindali, Barry Rose, Hassan Soueid, Parminder Jeer, Deepak Saran, Raj Shrivastava
European Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery & Traumatology: Orthopédie Traumatologie 2013, 23 (4): 481-6

INTRODUCTION: Rivaroxaban is the first licensed oral direct inhibitor of factor Xa. Recent studies from the RECORD trials suggest rivaroxaban has superior efficacy compared to enoxaparin in preventing venous thromboembolism (VTE) with no significant increase in the major bleeding risk. Concerns remain regarding the incidence of minor bleeding, consequent delayed wound healing and subsequent risk of infection. The aim of this observational study was to assess the incidence of post-operative complications in patients receiving either rivaroxaban or enoxaparin thromboprophylaxis following elective hip and knee arthroplasty.

METHODS: A total of 258 patients undergoing elective total hip or knee arthroplasty within one NHS Trust were included. A total of 202 subjects (mean age, 70.7 years ± 10.0, 43 % men) received a daily dose of 10 mg of oral rivaroxaban and 56 (mean age, 70.9 years ± 9.8, 39 % men) had a daily subcutaneous injection of 40 mg of enoxaparin as thromboprophylaxis. Endpoints included VTE (deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism), haemorrhagic wound complications, hospital re-admission, requirement for blood transfusion, minor and major bleeding and death.

RESULTS: There were no significant differences in the incidence of VTE, requirement for blood transfusion and readmission rate between rivaroxaban and enoxaparin-treated patients. The incidence of minor bleeding (2.0 vs. 0 %) and haemorrhagic wound complications (5.0 vs. 1.8 %) were non-significantly higher in the rivaroxaban-treated group. There were no cases of pulmonary embolism, major bleeding or death in either group.

CONCLUSION: Our experience with rivaroxaban in elective hip and knee arthroplasty showed no significant difference in the incidence of VTE or major bleeding. There was, however, a tendency to greater risk of minor bleeding and wound complications that were largely haemorrhagic in nature, which may have reached significance in a larger study.

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