Risk of pulmonary embolism greatest during first week following total joint replacement

The elevated risk of pulmonary embolism (PE) – a blood clot that travels from the leg to the lungs – following total joint replacement (TJR) surgery has been well established, yet little is known about the natural course and timing of this potentially fatal condition.

In the study, "Pulmonary Embolism Following Total Joint Arthroplasty: When Do They Occur?", presented at the 2012 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), researchers reviewed the records of 25,660 patients who received TJR between 2000 and 2010. All patients received the anticoagulation (blood thinning) drug Coumadin immediately following and each was monitored, but not screened, for PE. occurring within 90 days of the was documented.

The median occurrence of PE was two days following surgery, with 254 out of 286 cases of PE (88.8 percent) occurring within the first seven days after surgery. Based on the findings of this study, anticoagulation treatment beyond seven days may not be necessary.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Are blood thinners post-op killers?

Mar 31, 2008

Current US guidelines for the prescription of potent anticoagulants by surgeons who perform joint replacement operations could be doing patients more harm than good, according to Dr. Nigel Sharrock and his team from the Hospital ...

Recommended for you

What are the chances that your dad isn't your dad?

Apr 16, 2014

How confident are you that the man you call dad is really your biological father? If you believe some of the most commonly-quoted figures, you could be forgiven for not being very confident at all. But how ...

New technology that is revealing the science of chewing

Apr 15, 2014

CSIRO's 3D mastication modelling, demonstrated for the first time in Melbourne today, is starting to provide researchers with new understanding of how to reduce salt, sugar and fat in food products, as well ...

After skin cancer, removable model replaces real ear

Apr 11, 2014

(HealthDay)—During his 10-year struggle with basal cell carcinoma, Henry Fiorentini emerged minus his right ear, and minus the hearing that goes with it. The good news: Today, the 56-year-old IT programmer ...

Italy scraps ban on donor-assisted reproduction

Apr 09, 2014

Italy's Constitutional Court on Wednesday struck down a Catholic Church-backed ban against assisted reproduction with sperm or egg donors that has forced thousands of sterile couples to seek help abroad.

User comments