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Thromboprophylaxis in Knee Arthroscopy Patients: Revisiting Values and Preferences

Russell D. Hull, MBBS, MSc
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From Foothills Hospital, Calgary, Alberta T2N 2T9, Canada.

Potential Financial Conflicts of Interest:Consultancies: Sanofi-Aventis. Honoraria: Sanofi-Aventis, LEO Pharma, GlaxoSmithKline, Bayer, Pfizer. Grants received: Sanofi-Aventis.

Requests for Single Reprints: Russell D. Hull, MBBS, MSc, Foothills Hospital, South Tower, Room 601, 1403 29 Street NW, Calgary, Alberta T2N 2T9, Canada; e-mail, rdhull@ucalgary.ca.

Ann Intern Med. 2008;149(2):137-139. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-149-2-200807150-00010
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The most common orthopedic operation worldwide is knee arthroscopy. The best-practice guidelines for thromboprophylaxis for knee arthroscopy patients remain to be determined. Because of uncertainty about the perioperative and postoperative risk for deep venous thrombosis (DVT), physicians have been noncommittal about the need for thromboprophylaxis in such patients, especially because diagnostic arthroscopy and arthroscopy-assisted knee surgery are mostly performed in young patients. This debate about the need for thromboprophylaxis is important, because approximately 3.5 million knee arthroscopies are performed per year globally (12). Although clinical venous thromboembolism (VTE) is uncommon and deaths are rare, this huge volume of surgery has the potential to substantially increase the burden of VTE in young patients.

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