“Given the modern, less invasive techniques that orthopaedic surgeons are using now for total knee replacement, aspirin should be reconsidered a viable alternative to recommended therapies,” said Kevin J. Bozic, MD, MBA., lead author on the study and associate professor in residence at the University of California, San Francisco Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. Currently, clinical practice guidelines for preventing blood clots after total knee replacement do not recommend aspirin use.
This study suggests otherwise. Bozic and his team compared data from more than 93,840 patients who underwent knee replacement surgeries at some 300 hospitals between October 2003 and September 2005. Researchers compared the risk of blood clots, mortality, surgical-site bleeding and infection in patients receiving aspirin versus guideline-approved therapies. The study found that aspirin patients had fewer risk factors for blood clots prior to surgery, lower odds for blood clots compared to patients on warfarin, similar odds compared to patients receiving injectable therapies to prevent clots and no difference in bleeding risks or mortality.
“Not only have surgical techniques changed, but patients undergoing knee surgery today are more likely to be younger and healthier than when the current treatment guidelines were developed,” said Bozic. “Aspirin is a simple, inexpensive and commonly used drug with few side effects, so it’s a very attractive alternative.”
The study concludes that more research needs to be conducted to help physicians determine which patient characteristics and treatment factors are best suited for aspirin use to prevent blood clots in knee replacement patients. This study shows significance as more than 533,000 knee replacements were performed in 2005.
MEDICA.de; Source: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS)