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The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 82-B, Issue 3 | Pages 433 - 434
1 Apr 2000
Fleming P Fitzgerald P Devitt A Rice J Murray P

Compression foot pumps are widely used for the prevention of postoperative venous thrombosis. We tested the efficiency of the pump in ten healthy subjects; the velocity of venous blood flow in the common femoral vein was measured in the horizontal, Trendelenberg (foot-up) and reverse-Trendelenberg (foot-down) positions.

Application of the foot pump produced an increase in the venous velocity in all subjects. The mean increase in the horizontal position was 27.2% and in the Trendelenberg position 15.4%. In the reverse-Trendelenberg position, the foot pump produced a mean increase of 102.8%.

The efficiency of the compression foot pump in increasing venous return is improved by adopting the reverse-Trendelenberg position. This may increase its thromboprophylactic effect.