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VOLUME 10 , ISSUE 2 ( August, 2015 ) > List of Articles

Original Article

The incidence of deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism with the elective use of external fixators

David J. S. Roberts, Anna Panagiotidou, Matthew Sewell, David Goodier

Keywords : Thrombosis, Prophylaxis, Frame, Elective, Incidence

Citation Information : Roberts DJ, Panagiotidou A, Sewell M, Goodier D. The incidence of deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism with the elective use of external fixators. 2015; 10 (2):67-71.

DOI: 10.1007/s11751-015-0219-1

License: CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

Published Online: 01-12-2013

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2015; The Author(s).


Little evidence exists about the incidence of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE) with the use of external fixators. We investigated this in a cohort of 207 consecutive patients undergoing 258 elective frame applications by case note review. Case notes were obtained for 84 % of the sample population. The type of surgery, demographic data, thromboembolic risk factors and the incidence of DVT/PE were recorded. One patient experienced DVT (0.39 %) and one a PE (0.39 %). Both were of high risk and had received mechanical and chemical thromboprophylaxis during their inpatient stay. These complications were identified at least 3 months post-operatively. These findings help to more accurately counsel patients undergoing elective frame surgery on the risks of DVT/PE and also contribute to the discussion between surgeons about whether or not extended course chemical thromboprophylaxis would be of overall benefit.

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