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Thromboembolic Events Are Uncommon Following Ankle Fracture Surgery

March 21, 2012

Below is a news summary of an orthopaedic research study appearing in the March 21, 2012 issue of the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery (JBJS), as well as the issues’ full Table of Contents.

Thromboembolic Events are Uncommon Following Ankle Fracture Surgery

Thromboembolic events — such as deep vein thrombosis (DVT), blood clots developing in the extremities; or pulmonary embolism (PE), a complication that causes a blood clot to move to the lungs — can occur following musculoskeletal injury and related surgery, and are potentially life threatening. In “The Incidence of Thromboembolic Events in Surgically Treated Ankle Fracture,” a study appearing in the March 21, 2012 issue of the JBJS, researchers sought to determine the frequency of, and potential risk factors for, thromboembolic events following surgical treatment of an ankle fracture.

    Investigators reviewed the records of 1,540 patients who underwent ankle fracture surgery at one of three university hospitals between 1997 and 2005.
    The incidence of thromboembolic events was 2.99 percent, total: 2.66 percent of patients had a DVT, and 0.32 percent a non-fatal PE. Approximately 16 percent of patients received thromboprophylaxis preventative treatment, such as an anticoagulation (blood thinning) drug. Investigators found that thromboembolic events following ankle fracture surgery were uncommon.
    Patients with risk factors, such as hormone use, pregnancy, cancer, smoking and obesity, did have higher a higher incidence of DVT or PE (3.59 percent versus 2.38 percent). However, the use of a thromboprophylaxis did not impact the occurrence of DVT or PE in patients, including those at risk. There was no link between the occurrence of thromboembolic events and fracture types, age or sex.

March 21, 2012 JBJS Full Table of Contents

Randomized Clinical Trial of Rotating Platform and Fixed Bearing Total Knee Arthroplasty: No Clinically Detectable Differences at Five Years
Efficacy of Surgical Preparation Solutions in Lumbar Spine Surgery
Short-Term Complications of the Laterjet Procedure
Comparative Effect of Orthosis Design on Functional Performance
Revision Posterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction Using a Modified Tibial-Inlay Double-Bundle Technique
Outcome of Lower-Limb Preservation with an Expandable Endoprosthesis After Bone Tumor Resection in Children
Outcomes Following Distal Humeral Fracture Fixation with an Extensor Mechanism-on Approach

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