Original Research| Volume 51, ISSUE 1, P63-68, January 2012

Incidence of Acute Deep Vein Thrombosis and Pulmonary Embolism in Foot and Ankle Trauma: Analysis of the National Trauma Data Bank


      The incidence of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) after foot and ankle surgery is generally believed to be low. However, little information is available regarding DVT as it specifically relates to foot and ankle trauma. The National Trauma Data Bank data set (2007 to 2009) was used to evaluate the incidence of thromboembolism in foot and ankle trauma. Also, the risk factors associated with the thromboembolic events were identified. Data regarding the demographics, comorbidities, procedures, trauma types, and complications, including DVT and pulmonary embolism (PE), were collected from the data set for analysis. The incidence of DVT and PE was 0.28% and 0.21%, respectively. The risk factors statistically significantly associated and clinically relevant for both DVT and PE in foot and ankle trauma were older age (DVT, odds ratio [OR] 1.02, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.01 to 1.03; PE, OR 1.02, 95% CI 1.01 to 1.03), obesity (DVT, OR 2.35, 95% CI 1.33 to 4.14; PE, OR 3.06, 95% CI 1.68 to 5.59), and higher injury severity score (DVT, OR 1.22, 95% CI 1.16 to 1.28; PE, OR 1.21, 95% CI 1.14 to 1.29). Owing to the low incidence, routine pharmacologic thromboprophylaxis might be contraindicated in foot and ankle trauma. Instead, careful, individualized assessment of the risk factors associated with DVT/PE is important.

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