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JOURNAL ARTICLE

Updated strategies to treat acute arterial complications associated with total knee and hip arthroplasty

Douglas A Troutman, Matthew J Dougherty, Adam I Spivack, Keith D Calligaro
Journal of Vascular Surgery 2013, 58 (4): 1037-42
23747133

OBJECTIVE: Traditional treatment of acute arterial complications associated with total knee arthroplasty (TKA) and total hip arthroplasty (THA) has generally included arteriography followed by open surgery. The purpose of this study was to describe our evolution from open surgery to preferential endovascular treatment for acute arterial complications of TKA and THA.

METHODS: We analyzed our computerized database registry and patient charts for vascular interventions associated with TKA and THA at a hospital with a large volume of orthopedic surgery to determine changing trends in endovascular intervention for these complications.

RESULTS: Between 1989 and 2012, 39,196 TKA (26,374 total: 23,205 primary; 3169 revisions) and THA (12,822 total: 10,293 primary; 2529 revisions) were performed. Vascular surgery consultation was provided for the treatment of acute ischemia, hemorrhage, ischemia with hemorrhage, and pseudoaneurysm formation. All interventions were performed within 30 days of joint replacement. A total of 49 (0.13%) acute arterial complications occurred over the 23-year period: 37 (76%) associated with TKA and 12 (24%) with THA. Arterial injury was detected on the same day as the orthopedic procedure in 28 patients, between postoperative days 1 and 5 in 18 patients, and between postoperative days 5 and 30 in three patients. The arterial complications caused ischemia in 28 patients (58%), hemorrhage in six (12%), ischemia with hemorrhage in six (12%), and pseudoaneurysm in nine (18%). Treatment included solely endovascular intervention in 12 (25%), failed endovascular treatment converted to open surgery in one (2%), and open surgery alone in 36 (73%) patients. Before 2002, only 6% (2/32; 2 TKA) of patients were successfully treated with endovascular intervention compared with 59% (10/17; 9 TKA, 1 THA) after June 2002 (P = .0004). There was no mortality, and limb salvage was achieved in all patients.

CONCLUSIONS: Although the majority of acute arterial complications after TKA and THA are diagnosed on the day of surgery, a high clinical awareness for acute arterial injury should also be present in the postoperative period. Although not always feasible, endovascular management is now our preferred treatment for injuries associated with TKA or THA. This offers substantially shorter time to vascular restoration, with less morbidity than open repair, and equivalent satisfactory outcomes.

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