A study by Clifford W. Colwell, Jr, Mark I. Froimson, Michael A. Mont, Merrill A. Ritter, Robert T. Trousdale, Knute C. Buehler, Andrew Spitzer, Thomas K. Donaldson and Douglas E. Padgett


Thromboembolic disease is a common complication of total hip arthroplasty. The purpose of this study was to compare a new mobile compression device with low-molecular-weight heparin with regard to their safety and effectiveness for the prevention of venous thromboembolic disease.

Thrombosis Prevention Results

Four hundred and ten patients (414 hips) were randomized; 392 of these patients (395 of the hips) were evaluable with regard to the safety of the intervention and 386 patients (389 hips) were evaluable with regard to its efficacy. Demographics were similar clinically between the groups. The rate of major bleeding events was 0% in the compression group and 6% in the low-molecular-weight heparin group. The rates of distal and proximal deep venous thrombosis were 3% and 2%, respectively, in the compression group compared with 3% and 1% in the heparin group. The rates of pulmonary embolism were 1% in the compression group and 1% in the heparin group, and there were no fatal pulmonary emboli. Within the twelve-week follow-up period, two events (one deep venous thrombosis and one pulmonary embolus) occurred in one patient in the compression group following negative findings on duplex ultrasonography on the twelfth postoperative day. There was no difference between the groups with regard to the prevalence of venous thromboembolism.

This study was published in The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery.

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