We performed a crossover study to evaluate the haemodynamic effect of active dorsal to plantar flexion and seven pneumatic compression devices in ten patients who had a total knee arthroplasty.Using the Acuson 128XP/10 duplex ultrasound unit with a 5MHz linear array probe, we assessed the augmentation of peak venous velocity and venous volume above and below the junction of the greater saphenous and common femoral veins in order to study both the deep and superficial venous systems.
The pneumatic compression devices evaluated included two foot pumps (A-V Impulse System and PlexiPulse Foot), a foot-calf pump (PlexiPulse Foot-Calf), a calf pump (VenaFlow System) and three calf-thigh pumps (SCD System, Flowtron DVT and Jobst Athrombic Pump). The devices differed in a number of ways, including the length and location of the sleeve and bladder, the frequency and duration of activation, the rate of pressure rise, and the maximum pressure achieved. A randomisation Table wasused to determine the order of the test conditions for each patient.
The enhancement of peak venous velocity occurred primarily in the deep venous system below the level of the saphenofemoral junction.The increases in peak venous velocity were as follows: active dorsal to plantar flexion 175%; foot pumps, A-V Impulse System 29% and PlexiPulse 65%; foot-calf pump, PlexiPulse, 221%; calf pump, VenaFlow, 302% and calf-thigh pumps, Flowtron DVT 87%, SCD System 116% and Jobst Athrombic Pump 263%.
All the devices augmented venous volume, the greatest effect being seen with those incorporating calf compression.The increases in ml/min were found in the deep venous system as follows: foot pumps, A-V Impulse System 9.6 and PlexiPulse Foot 16.7; foot-calf pump, PlexiPulse, 38.1; calf pump, VenaFlow, 26.2; calf-thigh pumps, Flowtron DVT 61.5, SCD System 34.7 and Jobst Athrombic Pump 82.3. Active dorsal to plantar flexion generated 8.5 ml for a single calf contraction.
J Bone Joint Surg [Br] 1998;80-B:1057-66.