header advert
Results 1 - 1 of 1
Results per page:
The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 91-B, Issue 3 | Pages 388 - 394
1 Mar 2009
Goel DP Buckley R deVries G Abelseth G Ni A Gray R

The incidence of deep-vein thrombosis and the need for thromboprophylaxis following isolated trauma below the knee is uncertain. We have investigated this with a prospective randomised double-blind controlled trial using low molecular weight heparin with saline injection as placebo in patients aged between 18 and 75 years who had sustained an isolated fracture below the knee which required operative fixation. All patients had surgery within 48 hours of injury and were randomised to receive either the placebo or low molecular weight heparin for 14 days, after which they underwent bilateral lower limb venography, interpreted by three independent radiologists. Further follow-up was undertaken at two, six, eight and 12 weeks.

A total of 238 patients fulfilled all the inclusion criteria, with 127 in the low molecular weight heparin group and 111 in the placebo group, all of whom underwent bilateral venography. There was no statistically significant difference in the incidence of deep-vein thrombosis between those patients treated with low molecular weight heparin or the placebo (p = 0.22). The number of deep-vein thromboses in the two groups was 11 (8.7%) and 14 (12.6%), respectively. Age and the type of fracture were significantly associated with the rate of deep-vein thrombosis (p = 0.001 and p = 0.009, respectively) but gender, comorbidities and the body mass index were not.

The overall incidence of deep-vein thrombosis in this series was 11%. There was no clinical or statistical significant reduction in the incidence of deep-vein thrombosis with the use of thromboprophylaxis. However, we accept that owing to a cessation of funding, recruitment to this trial had to be ended prior to establishing the necessary sample size. Our results cannot, therefore, categorically exclude the possibility that low molecular weight heparin treatment could be beneficial. We recommend a further multicentre trial be undertaken to resolve this matter.