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Beating Blood Clots after Joint Replacement
Date:2/26/2009

/orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00233" target="_new">total joint replacement (http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00233) will end up with a symptomatic DVT or PE, according to Dr. Friedman.

Currently, there are several types of prophylaxis available, and are not limited to:

  • Oral agents, like warfarin
  • Injectable agents, like low molecular weight heparins
  • Mechanical compression, sleeves on a patient's legs to help stimulate blood flow

One problem patients have with warfarin, Dr Friedman explains, "is the fact it is hard to manage the dosage and requires monitoring and dose adjustment on a regular basis. There are also many food and drug interactions that can alter the effectiveness of the drug."

"Nothing is 100 percent preventable, but we can certainly cut the risk significantly and improve compliance with options such as new pharmalogical prophylaxis, especially in terms of oral agents," stated Dr. Friedman.

He feels that symptomatic rates may be cut down even more due to more prophylaxis being oral in nature. Some of these new oral agents -- which are being considered by the Food and Drug Administration -- make it more convenient to the patient and offer tremendous potential in preventing a DVT.

Whether or not these new agents become available, the best way to arm against this problem, Dr. Friedman suggests, "is to mobilize patients as early as possible to stimulate blood flow, be sure they understand that a prophylaxis or medication must be taken and how to use it, and finally, to recognize the warning signs of a potential DVT."

Even with a thorough pre-surgical evaluation, some patients are at higher risk for DVT than others having:

  • A previous blood clot

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SOURCE American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
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