Thromboembolism in Orthopedic Trauma
A. Khoury, R. Mosheiff, M. Liebergall
Orthopedic Surgery Dept., Hadassah University Hospital and Hebrew University - Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem
Trauma increases risk of thromboembolic complications. Thus, in pelvic fractures and spinal injuries the incidence of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is about 35-60%. Half occur in the pelvic veins and are the most likely to result in pulmonary embolism. While symptomatic pulmonary embolism occurs in 2-10% of patients, more have silent pulmonary embolism. 0.5-2% of pulmonary embolisms are fatal. In lower extremity trauma the incidence of DVT is about 58%, with 18% of them in the proximal veins. Thromboembolic complications are the prime cause of morbidity and mortality among trauma patients, yet they can be prevented efficiently and cost-effectively. The arsenal of prophylactic agents includes heparin, low molecular weight heparin, and mechanical devices including inferior vena cava filters.