Molly S. Judge DPM, FACFAS

Blood Clots Aka DVT

About Deep Vein Thrombosis aka Blood Clots

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The development of deep venous thrombosis (DVT) in the postoperative setting is a significant concern for foot and ankle surgeons. Such an untoward event is one of the greatest concerns of a surgeon, adding significant morbidity, mortality, and cost to patient care.
DVT affects approximately two million people in the United States each year with 600,000 developing a pulmonary embolism (PE) as a consequence. Subsequent deaths from PE range from 50,000-100,000."* There is a wealth of information in the medical literature regarding the incidence of DVT and PE following major orthopedic surgeries of the lower extremities (particularly roral joint replacement and trauma) as well as general surgery.
However, statistics regarding occurrence after foot and ankle surgery have been sparse, and recommendations regarding prophylaxis are not clearly identified.* The reported incidence of DVT following foot and ankle surgery has ranged from 0.22% to 3.5% with non-fatal PE being 0.15%.* Differences in study design and criteria may add to the disagreement in prevalence.

Also, it is important to appreciate that not all of those who develop DVT are symptomatic, and not all will require treatment or progress to PE, In this light, the foot and ankle surgeon is left to face the question of prophylaxis against DVT and PE without solid scientific evidence.
This combined with current trends in health care management, litigation, and the risks inherent not only with the surgery itself but to both preoperative comorbidities and postoperative convalescence enhances the need to explore prophylaxis against DVT and PE.
Therefore, the most clinically relevant questions are: What is the risk of thromboembolism following surgery? Is routine thromboprophylaxis indicated? What are the current recommendations for prophylaxis?

Do you want to learn more?

Read some articles that Dr. Molly S. Judge wrote about the subject:

Chronic Venous Insufficiency

DVT Deep Vein Thrombosis


Vein Problem Chronic Venous Stasis


Picture of female in sportswear stretching in exterior with foot on railing.

Molly S. Judge DPM, FACFAS

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