Insufficient duration of venous thromboembolism prophylaxis after total hip or knee replacement when compared with the time course of thromboembolic events: findings from the Global Orthopaedic Registry

UMMS Affiliation

Center for Outcomes Research



Document Type


Medical Subject Headings

Aged; Anticoagulants; Arthroplasty, Replacement, Hip; Arthroplasty, Replacement, Knee; Drug Administration Schedule; Female; Humans; Male; Middle Aged; *Registries; Thromboembolism; Time Factors; Venous Thrombosis


Health Services Research


Patients who have undergone total hip or knee replacement (THR and TKR, respectively) are at high risk of venous thromboembolism. We aimed to determine the time courses of both the incidence of venous thromboembolism and effective prophylaxis. Patients with elective primary THR and TKR were enrolled in the multi-national Global Orthopaedic Registry. Data on the incidence of venous thromboembolism and prophylaxis were collected from 6639 THR and 8326 TKR patients. The cumulative incidence of venous thromboembolism within three months of surgery was 1.7% in the THR and 2.3% in the TKR patients. The mean times to venous thromboembolism were 21.5 days (sd 22.5) for THR, and 9.7 days (sd 14.1) for TKR. It occurred after the median time to discharge in 75% of the THR and 57% of the TKA patients who developed venous thromboembolism. Of those who received recommended forms of prophylaxis, approximately one-quarter (26% of THR and 27% of TKR patients) were not receiving it seven days after surgery, the minimum duration recommended at the time of the study. The risk of venous thromboembolism extends beyond the usual period of hospitalisation, while the duration of prophylaxis is often shorter than this. Practices should be re-assessed to ensure that patients receive appropriate durations of prophylaxis.

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Citation: J Bone Joint Surg Br. 2007 Jun;89(6):799-807. Link to article on publisher's site

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