Venous Thromboembolism Prophylaxis for Patients Having Elective Spine Surgery: When, Why, and How Much

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Orthopedics and Physical Rehabilitation

Publication Date


Document Type



Cardiovascular Diseases | Orthopedics | Rehabilitation and Therapy | Surgery


The prevalence of venous thromboembolism (VTE) events varies widely following elective spine surgery, with reported rates ranging from 0.21% to 13.6%. Risk factors for the development of VTE after spine surgery include patient or family history, obesity, longer operative time, manipulation of the great vessels, and decreased mobility postoperatively. There is limited consensus regarding the selection and initiation of postoperative chemoprophylaxis, which should be implemented thoughtfully because of the bleeding risk and, specifically, the development of epidural hematoma. Prophylactic use of inferior vena cava filters in low-risk patients having elective spine surgery has not been well supported in the literature. Further investigation is needed to determine its utility as an additional modality to prevent postoperative pulmonary embolus in elective spine surgery.

DOI of Published Version



J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2019 Jul 3;101(13):1220-1229. doi: 10.2106/JBJS.18.00849. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

The Journal of bone and joint surgery. American volume

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID