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The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 84-B, Issue 3 | Pages 344 - 350
1 Apr 2002
Warwick D Harrison J Whitehouse S Mitchelmore A Thornton M

Patients who undergo total knee replacement (TKR)are at high risk of venous thromboembolism. Low-molecular-weight heparins (LMWH) are the most suitable chemical prophylactic agents but there are some uncertainties about their safety and effectiveness. The foot pump offers an alternative.

We randomised 229 patients undergoing primary, unilateral TKR to receive either the A-V Impulse foot pump or enoxaparin, a LMWH. Ascending venography was undertaken between the sixth and eighth postoperative day in 188 patients without knowledge of the randomisation category. The prevalence of venographic deep-vein thrombosis was 58% (57/99) in the foot-pump group and 54% (48/89) in the LMWH group which was not statistically significant. There were four cases of proximal thrombi and two of fatal pulmonary emboli in the foot-pump group and none in the LMWH group. There were fewer haemorrhagic complications and soft-tissue effects in the foot-pump group.

We conclude that the neither method provides superior prophylaxis.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 77-B, Issue 5 | Pages 715 - 719
1 Sep 1995
Warwick D Bannister G Glew D Mitchelmore A Thornton M Peters T Brookes S

In previous randomised clinical trials of thromboprophylaxis after total hip replacement, low-molecular-weight heparin has been given for an arbitrary 7 to 14 days. The risk factors are mainly perioperative and it is possible that a shorter course may be adequate. We assessed the safety and effectiveness of a three-day course. We assessed 156 primary THR patients after randomisation to either a control group or to receive enoxaparin at 12 hours preoperatively and 12 and 36 hours postoperatively. Thrombosis was diagnosed by routine venography. Haemorrhagic side-effects were assessed by measurement of blood loss, and soft-tissue side-effects by descriptive scores for wound discharge and bruising of the leg. The prevalence of calf thrombosis was 15.4% in the enoxaparin group and 32.1% in the control group (p = 0.01); the prevalence of proximal thrombosis was 15.4% and 17.9% respectively (not significant). There was no difference in haemorrhagic side-effects or wound discharge, but there was more bruising in the enoxaparin group.