Research Article| Volume 62, ISSUE 1, P35-38, January 2023

Incidence of Venous Thromboembolism in Patients Receiving Anticoagulation for Foot and Ankle Surgery

Published:March 31, 2022DOI:


      Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is a serious medical condition that can be an unfortunate complication arising from foot and ankle surgery. Many factors may predispose a patient to a VTE event including prolonged postoperative immobilization, comorbidities, extended length of tourniquet time, and higher risk surgeries. Unfortunately, there is no clinical consensus for guidelines on VTE prophylaxis following foot and ankle surgery. In this retrospective cohort study, we present our patient population who were prophylactically anticoagulated following foot and ankle surgery along with their incidence of deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism (PE). Included in the study were patients who had undergone elective and traumatic foot and ankle surgery from June 2017 to December 2018. Using retrospective data obtained we compared patient demographics, surgery type, length of tourniquet time, postoperative immobilization, type of VTE prophylaxis, and comorbidities including history of smoking, peripheral vascular disease, bleeding disorders, and patients undergoing dialysis. Five of 425 (1.2%) patients were diagnosed with a deep vein thrombosis and 1 of 425 (0.2%) patients was diagnosed with a pulmonary embolism. Risks factors statistically significant for developing a VTE in our patient population included extended periods of immobilization and an increasing patient age. We were able to conclude that routine prophylaxis for elective and traumatic foot and ankle surgery is both effective and safe for especially in older patients requiring extended immobilization. It's also important to take into consideration comorbidities, smoking history, tourniquet time, and the type of surgery that is being performed.

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