Surgical or nonsurgical treatment of an Achilles tendon rupture includes a period of immobilization that is a well-documented risk factor for deep venous thrombosis (DVT). The DVT is a source of morbidity in orthopedic surgery because it can progress to pulmonary embolism. The aim of this study was to investigate the incidence of DVT and pulmonary embolism after surgical treatment of an Achilles tendon rupture.
A retrospective analysis was made of patients who underwent surgical treatment of Achilles tendon rupture between January 1, 2006, and November 30, 2014. Patient data were collected from the hospital medical record system.
Of 238 patients with a mean age of 39 years (range, 18–66 years), 18 (7.6%) were diagnosed as having symptomatic DVT. The average body mass index of the patients with DVT was 31.8 (range, 24–33). Of the patients with DVT, 11 were older than 40 years and two-thirds had a body mass index of 30 or greater. Pulmonary embolism was diagnosed in four patients (1.7%), none of whom had DVT symptoms.
Venous thrombosis continues to be a major cause of morbidity and mortality in postoperative patients. Limited data are available for the use of thromboprophylaxis in foot and ankle surgery. In light of the literature review and results of this study, we suggest that routine thromboembolism prophylaxis should be considered for patients with Achilles tendon rupture.