Incidence of Symptomatic Deep Venous Thrombosis after Achilles Tendon Rupture

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Abstract

Deep venous thrombosis (DVT) is a significant source of morbidity and mortality and is associated with many orthopedic procedures. Previous studies have reported highly variable DVT rates in patients with Achilles tendon rupture undergoing operative and nonoperative treatment. We performed a retrospective chart review for all patients who underwent Achilles tendon repair at our institution from January 2006 to February 2012. Patient data were collected from the electronic medical record system. A total of 115 patients were eligible for the present study. Of these patients, 27 (23.47%) with a surgically treated Achilles tendon rupture developed a symptomatic DVT either while waiting for, or after, surgical intervention, with approximately one third of these diagnosed before surgical intervention. Of the 27 patients with DVT, 3 had a proximal DVT and 24 had a distal DVT. One patient developed a pulmonary embolism. The DVT incidence was greater in the 2 older age groups (40 to 59 and 60 to 79 years) compared individually with the younger age group (20 to 39 years; p < .0026 and p < .0014, respectively). We have shown a high incidence of DVT after Achilles tendon rupture. We recommend a high level of suspicion for the signs and symptoms of DVT during the follow-up period. In addition, patient education and early mobilization should be advocated, especially for patients older than 40 years. Additional randomized controlled trials investigating any benefits to pharmaceutical DVT prophylaxis in this population are needed to establish evidence-based recommendations.

Level of Clinical Evidence: 3

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