Joint Replacement Surgery Increases the Chance of Blood Clots in Some Patients

Some patients are at a higher risk of blood clots after joint replacement surgery, especially when it comes to getting a hip or knee replaced. In late July, The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery published a study showing that at-risk patients were vulnerable to blood clots for weeks after a surgery, and in some instances more than blood thinners were needed to prevent deep vein thrombosis and more fatal consequences.
“Future studies should focus on the improvement of prophylaxis following hospital discharge, particularly among elderly patients and those with a history of cardiovascular diseases or previous clot formation,” said Dr. Alma Pedersen, the study’s author.

The study noted that more than one percent of patients had to go back to the hospital in the 90 days after a knee surgery. Deep vein thrombosis affected 323 people and 127 patients had a pulmonary embolism. Nine patients had both medical issues. The study evaluated more than 37,000 people who underwent these types of surgeries from 1997 to 2007.

During a joint replacement surgery, microfragments of bone and tissue can break off and enter the bloodstream. If they adhere to blood vessel walls, debris can attach to them. This can potentially form a clot that impairs normal blood flow. If the clot breaks away, it can travel to the lungs. Most patients after surgery are immobile, and this causes blood to slow down, increasing clot formation as well.

After surgery, individuals should go to their regular doctor follow-ups and monitor the site for abnormal swelling, a change in color, or pain in the area. Individuals should have a complete regimen to improve their blood flow after surgery. Not only are blood thinners important after surgery, the study recommended, but mechanical compression therapy can be used at home too.

External compression equipment stimulates the venous system and addresses the factors associated with clot formation. Compression therapy increases the volume and velocity of flow from superficial veins up through the deep veins. This assists in decreasing venous stasis, blood pooling, and venous congestion. It also helps decrease blood vessel distension and helps lower the risk of injury to the endothelium tissue. Compression therapy also enhances fibrinolysis, which assists in activating anti-clotting factors.

Vascular PRN helps hospitals, surgery centers, and other institutions get the best compression therapy equipment at a great value for their patients. The company carries the top name brands for rent and for sale, and delivers nationwide. For DVT, they have a wide selection of leg, calf, and foot pumps and bariatric solutions too. To learn more, visit www.vascularprn.com or call 800-886-4331.

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