The natural history and aetiology of deep vein thrombosis after total hip replacement

J Bone Joint Surg Br. 1981 Aug;63-B(2):171-7. doi: 10.1302/0301-620X.63B2.7217137.


A study of the natural history and aetiology of deep vein thrombosis in 499 patients after total hip replacement is presented. Deep vein thrombosis was diagnosed by scanning the leg for 125Iodine-labelled fibrinogen for a period of 14 to 18 days and by ascending phlebography. It has been shown that deep vein thrombosis occurs ater than in patients who have undergone abdominal operations, and the risk period is longer. The peak of onset of thrombosis is on the fourth day after the hip replacement. Attempts at prophylaxis using subcutaneous heparin or intermittent pneumatic compression of the calves delay the appearance of thrombosis. Analysis of possible aetiology factors shows that the age of the patient, the degenerative disease of the hip, the surgical approach, and under-transfusion of blood, all have a significant effect on the incidence of thrombosis.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Blood Transfusion
  • Early Ambulation
  • Female
  • Hemorrhage / complications
  • Heparin / administration & dosage
  • Hip Prosthesis*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / complications
  • Osteoarthritis / complications
  • Postoperative Complications / etiology*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Thrombophlebitis / etiology*
  • Thrombophlebitis / prevention & control
  • Time Factors


  • Heparin