Risk factors for post-operative venous thromboembolism in patients with a malignancy of the lower limb

S. M. Kim, J. M. Park, S. H. Shin, S. W. Seo


It is important to be able to identify patients with an increased risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE) in order to minimise the risk of an event. We investigated the incidence and risk factors for post-operative VTE in 168 consecutive patients with a malignancy of the lower limb. The period of study included ten months before and 12 months after the introduction of chemical thromboprophylaxis. All data about the potential risk factors were identified and classified into three groups (patient-, surgery- and tumour-related). The outcome measure was a thromboembolic event within 90 days of surgery.

Of the 168 patients, eight (4.8%) had a confirmed symptomatic deep-vein thrombosis and one (0.6%) a fatal pulmonary embolism. Of the 28 variables tested, age > 60 years, higher American Society of Anesthesiologists grade and metastatic tumour were independent risk factors for VTE. The overall rate of symptomatic VTE was not significantly different between patients who received chemical thromboprophylaxis and those who did not. Knowledge of these risk factors may be of value in improving the surgical outcome of patients with a malignancy of the lower limb.

Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2013;95-B:558–62.


  • No benefits in any form have been received or will be received from a commercial party related directly or indirectly to the subject of this article.

    This article was primary edited by A. Ross and first-proof edited by J. Scott.

  • Received July 10, 2012.
  • Accepted December 4, 2012.
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