Venous Thromboembolism After Pelvic Osteotomy in Adolescent Patients: A Database Study Characterizing Rates and Current Practices

J Pediatr Orthop. 2021 May-Jun;41(5):306-311. doi: 10.1097/BPO.0000000000001798.


Background: Current risks and practices in medical prophylaxis of venous thromboembolism (VTE) after major elective lower extremity surgeries such as pelvic osteotomies have not been well-defined in the pediatric population. The purpose of this study was to (1) evaluate population rates of VTE in adolescents undergoing pelvic osteotomies, and (2) characterize current practices on types of VTE prophylaxis being utilized after pelvic osteotomies.

Methods: The study evaluated the Pediatric Health Information System database between October 1, 2015 and January 1, 2020 for patients between 10 and 18 years of age meeting selected ICD-10 procedure and diagnosis codes relating to pelvic osteotomies. The rate of VTE was calculated within 90 days of index procedure. Types of pharmacologic prophylaxis were characterized. Continuous variables were compared with 2-sample t tests; proportions and categorical variables were compared with Fisher exact or χ2 tests, all with 2-tailed significance <0.05.

Results: Of 1480 included patients, 9 were diagnosed with VTE within 90 days of surgery (VTE rate: 0.61%). Four of 9 (44.4%) had received pharmacologic prophylaxis postoperatively. There were no differences in baseline demographics or length of stay between patients that did or did not develop VTE (P>0.05). Overall, 52.0% received at least one form of pharmacologic prophylaxis postoperatively. The most common pharmacologic prophylaxis used was aspirin (47.6%), of which 64.4% received 81 mg dosing. There was no difference in VTE rates in those with or without prophylaxis (0.52% vs. 0.70%, P=0.75). However, those prescribed prophylaxis were significantly older (15.2±2.3 vs. 13.6±2.4 y, P<0.0001) and had a higher proportion of females (71.8% vs. 54.6%, P<0.01).

Conclusions: The overall rate of VTE in pediatric patients after pelvic osteotomies is non-negligible. There is heterogeneity in the type of anticoagulant utilized; however, VTE prophylaxis is most commonly prescribed in older adolescents and female patients. Guidelines for medical prevention of deep venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism in the pediatric population are warranted after hip preservation surgery.

Level of evidence: Level IV, case series.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anticoagulants / therapeutic use
  • Aspirin / administration & dosage
  • Aspirin / therapeutic use*
  • Child
  • Databases, Factual
  • Elective Surgical Procedures / adverse effects
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Osteotomy / adverse effects*
  • Pelvic Bones / surgery*
  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors / administration & dosage
  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Pulmonary Embolism / prevention & control
  • Venous Thromboembolism / etiology
  • Venous Thromboembolism / prevention & control*


  • Anticoagulants
  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors
  • Aspirin