2021 John N. Insall Award: Aspirin is effective in preventing propagation of infrapopliteal deep venous thrombosis following total knee arthroplasty

Bone Joint J. 2021 Jun;103-B(6 Supple A):18-22. doi: 10.1302/0301-620X.103B6.BJJ-2020-2436.R1.


AIMS: The optimal management of an infrapopliteal deep venous thrombosis (IDVT) following total knee arthroplasty (TKA) remains unknown. The risk of DVT propagation and symptom progression must be balanced against potential haemorrhagic complications associated with administration of anticoagulation therapy. The current study reports on a cohort of patients diagnosed with IDVT following TKA who were treated with aspirin, followed closely for development of symptoms, and scanned with ultrasound to determine resolution of IDVT.

METHODS: Among a cohort of 5,078 patients undergoing TKA, 532 patients (695 TKAs, 12.6%) developed an IDVT between 1 January 2014 to 31 December 2019 at a single institution, as diagnosed using Doppler ultrasound at the first postoperative visit. Of the entire cohort of 532 patients with IDVT, 91.4% (486/532) were treated with aspirin (325 mg twice daily) and followed closely. Repeat lower limb ultrasound was performed four weeks later to evaluate the status of IDVT.

RESULTS: Follow-up Doppler ultrasound was performed on 459/486 (94.4%) patients and demonstrated resolution of IDVT in 445/459 cases (96.9%). Doppler diagnosed propagation of IDVT to the popliteal vein had occurred in 10/459 (2.2%) cases. One patient with an IDVT developed a pulmonary embolus six weeks postoperatively.

CONCLUSION: The results of this study demonstrate a low rate of IDVT propagation in patients managed with aspirin. Additionally, no significant bleeding episodes, wound-related complications, or other adverse events were noted from aspirin therapy. Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2021;103-B(6 Supple A):18-22.

PMID:34053277 | DOI:10.1302/0301-620X.103B6.BJJ-2020-2436.R1