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The Incidence of Venous Thromboembolism Following Shoulder Surgery: A Pilot Study
Clinics in Shoulder and Elbow 2017;20:18-23
Published online March 31, 2017
© 2017 Korean Shoulder and Elbow Society.

Chul-Hyun Cho , Hyung-Gyu Jang, Ui-Jun Park1, Hyoung Tae Kim1

Departments of Orthopedic Surgery and 1Vascular Surgery, Dongsan Medical Center, Keimyung University School of Medicine, Daegu, Korea
Correspondence to:
Chul-Hyun Cho
Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Keimyung University Dongsan Medical Center, 56 Dalseong-ro, Jung-gu, Daegu 41931, Korea
Tel: +82-53-250-8160, Fax: +82-53-250-7205, E-mail: oscho5362@dsmc.or.kr
Received June 28, 2016; Revised August 15, 2016; Accepted September 1, 2016.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Background: To assess the incidence of venous thromboembolism (VTE) following shoulder surgery and to evaluate the role of postoperative duplex ultrasonography. Methods: The study comprised a total of 224 patients who underwent shoulder surgery, including 180 shoulder arthroscopic surgeries, 28 shoulder arthroplasties, and 16 plate fixations for proximal humerus fracture between January 2014 and December 2014. The mean age of patients was 59.0 years, and there were 81 men and 143 women. Clinical data, including body mass index, blood tests, metabolic work-up for liver and renal function, previous, and present medical history, were evaluated. Duplex ultrasonography in the operative arm was performed on 2 to 4 days after surgery.
Results: The overall incidence of VTE following shoulder surgery was 0.45% (1/224). One patient with open reduction and plate fixation for proximal humerus fracture had asymptomatic deep vein thrombosis that showed complete remission after anticoagulant medication during a 2-month period. Four patients had asymptomatic superficial cephalic vein thrombosis and complete remission without any treatment. There was no case of pulmonary embolism.
Conclusions: The incidence of VTE following shoulder surgery was extremely low in Asians. Duplex ultrasonography may be not considered a routine follow-up of shoulder surgery and can be selectively performed in high-risk or symptomatic patients for VTE.
(Clin Shoulder Elbow 2017;20(1):18-23)
Keywords : Shoulder; Surgery; Venous thromboembolism; Ultrasonography; Duplex