Perioperative Thromboprophylaxis Is Associated With Lower Risk of Venous Thromboembolism After Knee Arthroscopy


      To determine the rate of symptomatic venous thromboembolism (VTE) among patients undergoing arthroscopic knee procedures, risk factors associated with postoperative VTE, and current perioperative thromboprophylaxis prescription patterns associated with this population in the United States.


      Medical records for patients ≥18 years of age were queried from the Mariner database using Current Procedural Terminology codes for knee arthroscopy performed in the United States from 2010 to 2020 in this cross-sectional study. Patients who received thromboprophylaxis and those diagnosed with VTE, including deep-vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism, within 90 days of surgery were identified using International Classification of Diseases and National Drug Codes. Two multivariable logistic regression models were used to identify VTE risk factors and likelihood of perioperative thromboprophylaxis. Covariates included procedure type, age, oral contraceptive pill (OCP) use, and medical comorbidities.


      A total of 718,289 patients met inclusion criteria and 7,618 patients (1.06%) experienced VTE, including deep-vein thrombosis (n = 6,394, 0.9%) and/or pulmonary embolism (n = 2,211, 0.3%). A total of 10,769 patients (1.5%) filled perioperative thromboprophylaxis, including aspirin (n = 5,353, 0.7%), low-molecular-weight heparin (n = 4,563, 0.6%), and oral factor Xa inhibitors (n = 947, 0.1%). Perioperative thromboprophylaxis was associated with decreased odds of experiencing VTE (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 0.65, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.51-0.80). Procedure types categorized as moderate-to-greater risk were associated with increased odds of VTE (aOR 1.42, 95% CI 1.34-1.50). OCP use (aOR 1.63, 95% CI 1.38-1.91), obesity (aOR 1.17, 95% CI 1.11-1.24), renal disease (aOR 1.33, 95% CI 1.18-1.50) and congestive heart failure (aOR 1.30, 95% CI 1.13-1.50) were associated with increased odds of VTE.


      While the overall rate of symptomatic VTE following knee arthroscopy remains low, procedure types that are more complex and generally require restrictive rehabilitation protocols, OCP use, obesity, renal disease, and congestive heart failure are associated with increased odds of postoperative VTE. Conversely, the use of perioperative thromboprophylaxis is associated with significantly lower VTE risk.

      Level of Evidence

      III, retrospective comparative prognostic trial.
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