J Arthroplasty. 2021 Feb 2:S0883-5403(21)00112-1. doi: 10.1016/j.arth.2021.01.072. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: The optimum venous thromboembolism (VTE) prophylaxis strategy to minimize risk of VTE and bleeding complications following revision total hip and knee arthroplasty (rTHA/rTKA) is controversial. The purpose of this study is to describe current VTE prophylaxis patterns following revision arthroplasty procedures to determine efficacy, complication rates, and prescribing patterns for different prophylactic strategies.
METHODS: The American Board of Orthopedic Surgery Part II (oral) examination case list database was analyzed. Current Procedural Terminology codes for rTHA/rTKA were queried and geographic region, VTE prophylaxis strategy, and complications were obtained. Less aggressive prophylaxis patterns were defined if only aspirin and/or sequential compression devises were utilized. More aggressive VTE prophylaxis patterns were considered if any of low-molecular-weight heparin (enoxaparin), warfarin, rivaroxaban, fondaparinux, or other strategies were used.
RESULTS: In total, 6387 revision arthroplasties were included. The national rate of less aggressive VTE prophylaxis strategies was 35.3% and more aggressive in 64.7%. Use of less aggressive prophylaxis strategy was significantly associated with patients having no complications (89.8% vs 81.9%, P < .001). Use of more aggressive prophylaxis patterns was associated with higher likelihood of mild thrombotic (1.2% vs 0.3%, P < .001), mild bleeding (1.7% vs 0.6%, P < .001), moderate thrombotic (2.6% vs 0.4%, P < .001), moderate bleeding (6.2% vs 4.0%, P < .001), severe bleeding events (4.4% vs 2.4%, P < .001), infections (6.4% vs 3.8%, P < .001), and death within 90 days (3.1% vs 1.3%, P < .001). There were no significant differences in rates of fatal pulmonary embolism (0.1% vs 0.04%, P = .474). Subgroup analysis of rTHA and rTKA patients showed similar results.
CONCLUSION: The individual rationale for using a more aggressive VTE prophylaxis strategy was unknown; however, more aggressive strategies were associated with higher rates of bleeding and thrombotic complications. Less aggressive strategies were not associated with a higher rate of thrombosis.
LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Therapeutic Level III.