The Role of Intraoperative Intermittent Pneumatic Compression Devices in Venous Thromboembolism Prophylaxis in Total Hip and Total Knee Arthroplasty

Vineet Tyagi, Paul Tomaszewski, Adam Lukasiewicz, Shahana Theriault, Richard Pelker
Orthopedics 2018 January 1, 41 (1): e98-e103
Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is a common complication after total hip arthroplasty (THA) and total knee arthroplasty (TKA), occurring in up to 85% of patients who are not treated with prophylaxis. The initiation of VTE development may occur intraoperatively. This study investigated whether this gap in VTE prophylaxis can be addressed by the use of intraoperative intermittent pneumatic compression devices (IPCDs) and if intraoperative IPCDs have a meaningful benefit in preventing symptomatic VTE. The authors defined symptomatic VTE as deep venous thrombosis in either lower extremity or a pulmonary embolism. The authors evaluated the medical records of 3379 patients who underwent THA or TKA at their institution in 2014 and 2015. Effects of various factors, including age, sex, body mass index, and smoking status, were compared between these 2 cohorts. Patients who experienced a symptomatic VTE were also matched by age, sex, and procedure type with randomly selected controls. In the patient sample, 47 patients (1.4%) developed VTE. Forty (1.2%) of these patients underwent TKA, whereas 7 (0.2%) underwent THA. Venous thromboembolism occurred less frequently in patients who received intraoperative IPCDs (0.8%) than in patients who did not receive them (1.5%); however, this difference did not reach statistical significance. Total knee arthroplasty was associated with increased odds of VTE compared with THA, as was female sex. These results did not show a statistically significant benefit to the intraoperative use of IPCDs. Pneumatic compression remains a fast, easy, low-cost, low-risk, intuitive intervention that can supplement the postoperative multimodal approach and is worthy of further study. Intraoperative IPCD use should be considered for patients with a higher risk of VTE. [Orthopedics. 2018; 41(1):e98-e103.].

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