Guidelines unveiled for blood clot reduction in hip replacement patients

3 October 2011

New clinical guidelines for the treatment of blood clots during hip and knee replacement surgery have been published by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS).

According to the AAOS's board of directors, replacement hip operations are commonplace and so preventative treatments should be considered.

However, AAOS warned against surgeons scanning patients with ultrasound after surgery to ensure they are not at risk from clotting - as this method is often unreliable.

Joshua Jacobs, a surgeon at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago and second vice-president at AAOS, said hip and knee replacement procedures are among the most successful carried out by clinicians.

However, he added: "One possible complication that orthopaedic surgeons are concerned about is venous thromboembolic disease."

Among the advice offered by the AAOS was the avoidance of anti-coagulants - like aspirin - prior to surgery and that patients should be encouraged to get back on their feet as soon as they are physically able to do so.

In the UK, one in every 1,000 people is affected by deep vein thrombosis during their lifetime. Common risk factors include old age, obesity and a family history of the condition.

Posted by Philip Briggs

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