Vena Caval Filter Use in Orthopaedic Trauma Patients with Recognized Preoperative Venous Thromboembolic Disease


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Abstract

SummaryThis study comprises a series of 35 patients with pelvic or lower extremity fractures requiring surgery who also had a documented significant acute deep venous thrombosis (DVT). The authors treated these with low-dose Coumadin and 36 vena caval filters, which were used prophylactically prior to surgery. The patients received low-dose warfarin after placement of the vena caval filters and were maintained at 1.3–1.5 times the prothrombin control value for 6 weeks to 3 months. In this group of patients, there were no fatal pulmonary emboli and no clinically significant complications from filter placement. There were nine asymptomatic filter complications demonstrated radiographically in eight patients. Additionally, one patient with a tilted vena caval filter required placement of another filter. The combination of vena caval filters and low-dose warfarin appears to be a successful and relatively safe method of managing those patients who have acute DVT and require surgery for their pelvic or lower extremity fractures.

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