Improved treatment of popliteal arterial injuries using anticoagulation and extra-anatomic reconstruction

Arch Surg. 1978 Nov;113(11):1317-21. doi: 10.1001/archsurg.1978.01370230107013.


Management of popliteal arterial injuries remains a challenging problem. Early recognition and treatment, arteriography, fasciotomy, and repair of concomitant popliteal venous injuries are modalities that have contributed to improved results. Systemic heparin sodium anticoagulation and selected extra-anatomic vein graft bypass of the popliteal area are two additional measures that have contributed to a 91% success rate in treatment of popliteal arterial injuries and five of six blunt injuries were treated successfully in this time period. A limb salvage rate of only 46% was attained in the previous five-year period. There were no operative deaths. No complications attributable to systemic anticoagulation or extra-anatomic bypass graft occurred. These adjuncts are recommended to all who manage vascular injuries.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Heparin / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Popliteal Artery / injuries*
  • Popliteal Artery / surgery
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Saphenous Vein / transplantation*
  • Thrombophlebitis / etiology
  • Transplantation, Autologous


  • Heparin