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The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 93-B, Issue 4 | Pages 490 - 497
1 Apr 2011
Jameson SS Augustine A James P Serrano-Pedraza I Oliver K Townshend D Reed MR

Diagnostic and operative codes are routinely collected for every patient admitted to hospital in the English NHS. Data on post-operative complications following foot and ankle surgery have not previously been available in large numbers. Data on symptomatic venous thromboembolism events and mortality within 90 days were extracted for patients undergoing fixation of an ankle fracture, first metatarsal osteotomy, hindfoot fusions and total ankle replacement over a period of 42 months. For ankle fracture surgery (45 949 patients), the rates of deep-vein thrombosis (DVT), pulmonary embolism and mortality were 0.12%, 0.17% and 0.37%, respectively. For first metatarsal osteotomy (33 626 patients), DVT, pulmonary embolism and mortality rates were 0.01%, 0.02% and 0.04%, and for hindfoot fusions (7033 patients) the rates were 0.03%, 0.11% and 0.11%, respectively. The rate of pulmonary embolism in 1633 total ankle replacement patients was 0.06%, and there were no recorded DVTs and no deaths. Statistical analysis could only identify risk factors for venous thromboembolic events of increasing age and multiple comorbidities following fracture surgery.

Venous thromboembolism following foot and ankle surgery is extremely rare, but this subset of fracture patients is at a higher risk. However, there is no evidence that thromboprophylaxis reduces this risk, and these national data suggest that prophylaxis is not required in most of these patients.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 91-B, Issue 5 | Pages 601 - 603
1 May 2009
Townshend D Emmerson K Jones S Partington P Muller S

The administration of intra-articular local anaesthetic is common following arthroscopy of the knee. However, recent evidence has suggested that bupivacaine may be harmful to articular cartilage. This study aimed to establish whether infiltration of bupivacaine around the portals is as effective as intra-articular injection.

We randomised 137 patients to receive either 20 ml 0.5% bupivacaine introduced into the joint (group 1) or 20 ml 0.5% bupivacaine infiltrated only around the portals (group 2) following arthroscopy. A visual analogue scale was administered one hour post-operatively to assess pain relief. Both patients and observers were blinded to the treatment group. A power calculation was performed.

The mean visual analogue score was 3.24 (sd 2.20) in group I and 3.04 (sd 2.31) in group 2. This difference was not statistically significant (p = 0.62).

Infiltration of bupivacaine around the portals had an equivalent effect on pain scores at one hour, and we would therefore recommend this technique to avoid the possible chondrotoxic effect of intra-articular bupivacaine.