Timing and Risk Factors for Venous Thromboembolism After Rotator Cuff Repair in the 30-Day Perioperative Period

Published:October 16, 2019DOI:


      To analyze the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program database to evaluate the incidence of deep venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism in patients undergoing rotator cuff repair surgery. In addition, we aim to identify risk factors associated with the development of thromboembolic events following rotator cuff repair.


      A retrospective review of the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program database was performed. Current Procedural Terminology codes were used to identify patients who underwent rotator cuff repair between 2005 and 2017. The presence of deep venous thrombosis or pulmonary embolism during the 30-day perioperative period were the primary outcomes assessed. Logistic regression analysis was performed to identify risk factors for postoperative venous thromboembolic events (VTEs).


      In total, 39,825 rotator cuff repairs (RCRs) were performed and 117 (0.3%) VTE events occurred. VTE was identified at a mean of 11.5 ± 7.4 days. A total of 31,615 RCRs were performed arthroscopically. There was no significant difference of VTE between groups comparing arthroscopic RCR VTE 0.3% (94) with open RCR 0.3% (23) (P = .81). RCR in patients with an American Society of Anesthesiologists classification of III or IV was associated with >1.5-fold increase risk of VTE (odds ratio [OR] 1.68, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.14-2.45). Increased risks of VTE included surgery >80 minutes (OR 2.10, 95% CI 1.42-3.15), performed under general anesthesia (OR 4.38, 95% CI 1.18-36.6), and in the outpatient setting (OR 6.09, 95% CI 1.06-243.7), male sex (OR 1.53, 95% CI 1.01-2.33), bleeding disorders (OR 2.87, 95% CI 1.17-7.05), or dyspnea (OR 1.51, 95% CI 1.02-2.23). The biggest risk for VTE was unplanned reoperation OR 16.6 (95% CI 5.13-53.5).


      Venous thromboembolism is a rare complication following rotator cuff repair 0.3%. Understanding the risk factors: duration of surgery >80 minutes, male sex, body mass index >30 kg/m2, ASA III or IV, RCR as an inpatient under general anesthesia, bleeding disorder, or dyspnea may be useful in guiding treatment to prevent VTE. The largest risk for VTE is a patient with unplanned reoperation. RCR surgery performed in an outpatient setting resulted in a significantly lower incidence of VTE.

      Level of Evidence

      III Retrospective Comparative Study.
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