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Current Issue - March 2022, Volume 16, Issue No. 1

Official Journal of Malaysian Orthopaedic Association and ASEAN Orthopaedic Association

Study of Deep Vein Thrombosis Screening by using Ultrasound Doppler in Patients with Pelvic and Acetabulum Fractures Requiring Operative Intervention


Introduction: Pelvic and acetabulum fractures are commonly caused by high impact injuries, increasing the risk of patients developing thromboembolic diseases such as deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE). Therefore, this study was performed to determine the incidence of lower extremity DVT in patients with pelvic and acetabulum fractures and the importance of pre-operative screening with Doppler ultrasound prior to surgical intervention.

Materials and methods: This retrospective study involved 78 patients with pelvic and acetabulum fractures requiring surgical intervention from January 2015 until December 2019. Patients who underwent surgical interventions were screened pre-operatively with Doppler ultrasound to detect lower limb DVT and later compared with the incidence of lower limb DVT post-operatively. Descriptive statistical analysis was performed using IBM SPSS Statistics Version 24.

Results: The participants of this study consisted of 30.8% females and 69.2% males. Pre-operative screening with Doppler ultrasound showed that three patients (3.8%) were diagnosed with lower limb DVT, whereas one of them (1.3%) was symptomatic and diagnosed with PE. Post-operatively, one patient developed DVT, and one patient developed PE. Both patients were negative for DVT pre-operatively.

Conclusion: The incidence of DVT in patients with pelvic and acetabulum fractures requiring operative intervention was significant despite the initiation of mechanical and pharmacological thromboprophylaxis upon admission. Despite the low incidence of DVT in our study, it has a high impact on patients’ morbidity and mortality; thus, pre-operative screening is important for early detection and the subsequent reduction of the risk of developing PE. The compulsory use of Doppler ultrasound of bilateral lower limbs as a part of pre-operative screening is highly recommended because it is cost-effective, efficient and readily available in most tertiary hospitals nationwide.

Abstract   |   Reference

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The Malaysian Orthopaedic Journal is a peer-reviewed journal that is published three times a year in both print and electronic online version. The purpose of this journal is to publish original research studies, evaluation of current practices and case reports in various subspecialties of orthopaedics and traumatology, as well as associated fields like basic science, biomedical engineering, rehabilitation medicine and nursing.

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