header advert
You currently have no access to view or download this content. Please log in with your institutional or personal account if you should have access to through either of these
The Bone & Joint Journal Logo

Receive monthly Table of Contents alerts from The Bone & Joint Journal

Comprehensive article alerts can be set up and managed through your account settings

View my account settings

Get Access locked padlock


The risk of venous thromboembolism, myocardial infarction, stroke, major bleeding and death in patients undergoing total hip and knee replacement

A 15-year retrospective cohort study of routine clinical practice

Download PDF


We examined the risk of thrombotic and major bleeding events in patients undergoing total hip and knee replacement (THR and TKR) treated with thromboprophylaxis, using nationwide population-based databases. We identified 83 756 primary procedures performed between 1997 and 2011. The outcomes were symptomatic venous thromboembolism (VTE), myocardial infarction (MI), stroke, death and major bleeding requiring hospitalisation within 90 days of surgery.

A total of 1114 (1.3%) and 483 (0.6%) patients experienced VTE and bleeding, respectively. The annual risk of VTE varied between 0.9% and 1.6%, and of bleeding between 0.4% and 0.8%. The risk of VTE and bleeding was unchanged over a 15-year period. A total of 0.7% of patients died within 90 days, with a decrease from 1% in 1997 to 0.6% in 2011 (p < 0.001). A high level of comorbidity and general anaesthesia were strong risk factors for both VTE and bleeding, with no difference between THR and TKR patients. The risk of both MI and stroke was 0.5%, which remained unchanged during the study period.

In this cohort study of patients undergoing THR and TKR patients in routine clinical practice, approximately 3% experienced VTE, MI, stroke or bleeding. These risks did not decline during the 15-year study period, but the risk of dying fell substantially.

Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2014;96-B:479–85.

Correspondence should be sent to Dr A. B. Pedersen; e-mail:

For access options please click here