Late deep venous thrombosis and delayed weightbearing after total hip arthroplasty

Clin Orthop Relat Res. 1999 Apr;(361):123-30. doi: 10.1097/00003086-199904000-00017.


One hundred ninety-nine patients who underwent primary total hip arthroplasty and used in hospital pneumatic compression stockings and aspirin as thromboembolic prophylaxis were screened for deep venous thrombosis using duplex ultrasonography on the fourth postoperative day. Of the initial 98 patients, 21 underwent noncemented arthroplasty, maintained touchdown weightbearing for 6 weeks after surgery, and then began progressive partial weightbearing. Of the subsequent 101 patients, 28 underwent noncemented arthroplasty and began progressive weightbearing immediately after surgery. All other patients underwent hybrid arthroplasty and began weightbearing to tolerance immediately after surgery. After duplex screening examination, patients with proximal deep venous thrombosis were given anticoagulation therapy, and patients with negative study results were observed clinically. The relative risk of proximal deep venous thrombosis after noncemented arthroplasty using delayed weightbearing was compared with that after noncemented arthroplasty using immediate progressive weightbearing. Of patients with noncemented arthroplasty, the prevalence of proximal deep venous thrombosis was significantly lower in those using progressive weightbearing immediately after surgery (none) than in those using delayed weightbearing rehabilitation (19%). This study showed that patients undergoing noncemented total hip arthroplasty with delayed weightbearing rehabilitation risk greater potential for deep venous thrombosis after hospital discharge. This study suggests consideration for continued thromboembolic prophylaxis or routine deep venous thrombosis surveillance, or both measures, after hospital discharge, unless more rapid progression of weightbearing is allowed.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Anticoagulants / therapeutic use
  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Hip* / adverse effects
  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Hip* / methods
  • Aspirin / administration & dosage
  • Aspirin / therapeutic use
  • Bandages
  • Cementation
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Heparin / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Leg / blood supply*
  • Leg / diagnostic imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Discharge
  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors / administration & dosage
  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Thromboembolism / prevention & control
  • Ultrasonography, Doppler, Duplex
  • Venous Thrombosis / diagnostic imaging
  • Venous Thrombosis / drug therapy
  • Venous Thrombosis / etiology*
  • Venous Thrombosis / prevention & control
  • Warfarin / therapeutic use
  • Weight-Bearing / physiology*


  • Anticoagulants
  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors
  • Warfarin
  • Heparin
  • Aspirin