Mechanical Compression as an Option for Preventing VTE

    Venous thromboembolism (VTE) can be a life-threatening complication of total knee arthroplasty, and it may be even more likely to develop in a patient undergoing a simultaneous bilateral procedure.

    Because the optimum VTE prophylaxis in that patient population is unclear, researchers from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, compared 2 options based on VTE risk stratification:

    • Standard risk: Mobile compression device (MCD) for 10 days followed by aspirin for 6 weeks following surgery
    • High risk: Warfarin adjusted for target INR for 4 weeks plus compression stockings for 6 weeks following surgery

    In this head-to-head comparison, both treatments were effective, with no VTEs in the 6 months following surgery, leading the study authors to conclude that MCD with aspirin is a safe option for preventing VTEs in patients undergoing simultaneous bilateral TKA. The results were presented at the recent annual meeting of the Mid-America Orthopaedic Association.

    James A. Keeney, MD, one of the study authors, provides insights into the methodology and findings of the study. Click the image above to hear his comments.

    Producer and Director: Michael Bugera; Post Production: Charles Maynard


    Nunley RM, Nam D, Johnson SR, Keeney JA, Barrack RL. Mobile Compression Devices and Aspirin Are Effective VTE Prophylaxis for Simultaneous Bilateral TKA (Paper 130). Presented at the Mid-America Orthopaedic Association Annual Meeting, April 22-25, 2015, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.