Understanding Hip Replacement And Deep Vein Thrombosis Risks

Posted on

If you have rheumatoid arthritis or another type of degenerative joint disorder, then you may need to go through a hip replacement surgery. This surgery does have some risks associated with it that your orthopedic doctor is likely to explain to you in depth. One of these risks is the possibility of forming a deep vein thrombosis. Keep reading to understand this issue and how you can prevent it.

What Is A Deep Vein Thrombosis?

Deep vein thrombosis occurs when a blood clot forms in one of the veins that sits deep in your body. The vast majority of these clots are ones that occur in the legs or thighs. These are areas of the body where blood is likely to pool or move more slowly, since the heart must move the blood against the flow of gravity. 

Clots that sit deep in the veins may break off and travel through the vascular system. When this happens, you may end up with a clot that travels to the lungs, heart, or brain, and this can create a stroke or heart attack.

A deep vein thrombosis is a concern when a hip is replaced, because your orthopedic surgeon will need to manipulate your bones. This can cause bone marrow to break away and travel through your veins, and clots may then develop. Like most other deep vein thrombosis issues, a clot is most likely to develop somewhere in your leg after a hip replacement. Thigh clots are the most common and likely to break off and travel elsewhere in the body and cause a severe complication.

How Can Deep Vein Thrombosis Risks Be Reduced?

Your physician will understand your clotting risks and work with you to develop a clot prevention plan. The plan will include the discontinuation of certain medications, like oral contraceptives and hormones, before your surgery. 

Once your surgery has been completed, your physician will likely ask you to start moving around and walking. The movement helps to encourage blood flow so clots are unable to form. Blood thinners may be prescribed as well to reduce your risks. You also may need to start physical therapy and exercises soon after the surgery if you are physically able.

Compression stockings may be provided as well. These garments place pressure on the lower extremities to keep blood from pooling and eventually clotting. You may be advised to drink plenty of fluids as well to keep the blood thin and able to move freely. To learn more, contact a company like Orthopaedic Associates Of Rochester.