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Title: Thromboprophylaxis in spinal surgery : a survey
Authors: Bryson, David J.
Uzoigwe, Chika E.
Braybrooke, Jason
First Published: 29-Mar-2012
Publisher: BioMed Central Ltd
Citation: Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Research 2012, 7:14
Abstract: Background: Venous Thromboembolism (VTE) is the most common complication following major joint surgery. While attention has been focused upon the incidence of thromboembolic disease following total hip or knee arthroplasty or emergency surgery for hip fracture, there exists a gap in the medical literature examining the incidence of VTE in spinal surgery. Evidence suggests that the prevalence of DVT after spinal surgery is higher than generally recognized but with a shortage of epidemiological data, guidelines for optimal prophylaxis are limited. This survey, of individuals attending the 2009 British Association of Spinal Surgeons Annual Meeting, sought to examine prevailing trends in VTE thromboprophylaxis in spinal surgery, adherence to guideline outlined by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) and to compare selections made by orthopaedic and neurosurgeons. Methods: We developed a questionnaire with eight clinical scenarios. Participants were asked to supply details on their specialty and to select which method(s) of thromboprophylaxis they would employ for each scenario. Chi squared analysis was used for statistical comparison of the questionnaire responses. Results: 73% of neurosurgical respondents' and 31% of orthopaedic surgeons employed low molecular weight heparin (p < 0.001). Neurosurgeons also selected anti-embolism stockings more frequently (79% v 50%) while orthopaedic surgeons preferred mechanical prophylaxis (26% v 9%). There was no significant difference between trauma and non-trauma scenarios (p = 0.05). Conclusion: There is no clear consensus in thromboprophylaxis in spinal surgery. There was a significant difference in selections across surgical disciplines with neurosurgeons more closely adhering to national guidelines. Further research examining the epidemiology of venous thromboembolism in spinal surgery and the risks-benefit relationship of thromboprophylaxis is warranted.
DOI Link: 10.1186/1749-799X-7-14
ISSN: 1749-799X
eISSN: 1749-799X
Version: Publisher Version
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © 2012 Bryson et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, College of Medicine, Biological Sciences and Psychology

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