LA JOLLA, Calif. – Research from The Shiley Center for Orthopaedic Research and Education at Scripps Clinic could change how patients are treated to prevent blood clots after joint replacement surgery. A study published as the lead article in the current issue of the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery determined that after lower extremity joint replacement surgery a mobile compression device was just as effective as blood thinners in preventing deep vein thrombosis (DVT), but without negative side effects including bleeding complications.
The multicenter study, led by Scripps Clinic orthopedic surgeon Clifford Colwell, M.D., evaluated the efficacy of a mobile compression device that is small and portable enough for patients to use at home for 10 days or longer after joint replacement surgery.
"Blood thinners have long been considered the standard of care to prevent blood clots after orthopedic surgery, but they can have side effects that are concerning for many patients," said Dr. Colwell. "Through this research we have found and established an equally effective means of accomplishing the same goal with an added layer of safety for patients."
From April 1 to Sept. 20, 2011, 10 medical centers in the United States participated in a registry to collect data on the occurrence of DVT in 3,000 patients who used the mobile compression device after surgery. The rate of DVT in patients who used the compression device was consistent with the rate of DVT in similar patient populations who were prescribed blood thinners, which is approximately 1 percent.
The device used during the study was the ActiveCare+S.F.T.®, which works by delivering compressions to the leg that coordinate with a patients respiration rate thereby improving blood flow. The manufacturer of the device funded the registry used in the study but did not have any role in the development of the registry design or protocol. The authors did not receive compensation for their role in the study.
About Shiley Center for Orthopaedic Research and Education
Established in 1983 by Dr. Colwell, the Shiley Center for Orthopaedic Research and Education at Scripps Clinic is committed to improving patient care and quality of life. Through scientific investigation and scholarship, SCORE has advanced the field of orthopedics and developed innovative programs to share best practices.
ABOUT SCRIPPS HEALTH
Founded in 1924 by philanthropist Ellen Browning Scripps, Scripps Health is a nonprofit integrated health system based in San Diego, Calif. Scripps treats a half-million patients annually through the dedication of 2,600 affiliated physicians and 13,500 employees among its five acute-care hospital campuses, hospice and home health care services, and an ambulatory care network of physician offices and 26 outpatient centers and clinics.
Recognized as a leader in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of disease, Scripps is also at the forefront of clinical research, genomic medicine, wireless health care and graduate medical education. With three highly respected graduate medical education programs, Scripps is a longstanding member of the Association of American Medical Colleges. Truven Health Analytics (formerly Thomson Reuters) has named Scripps one of the top five large health systems in the nation. Scripps is nationally recognized in six specialties by U.S. News & World Report, which places Scripps cardiovascular program among the top 20 in the country. Scripps has been consistently recognized by Fortune, Working Mother magazine and AARP as one of the best places in the nation to work. More information can be found at http://www.scripps.org.
Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery