Venous thromboembolism in podiatric foot and ankle surgery

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Matthews, JH, Terrill, AJ, Barwick, AL & Butterworth, PA in press, 'Venous thromboembolism in podiatric foot and ankle surgery', Foot and Ankle Specialist.

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Background: The extent to which podiatric surgeons follow venous thromboembolism guidelines is unknown. The aim of this study therefore, was 2-fold: (a) to determine the rate of venous thromboembolism following podiatric surgery and (b) to investigate the factors that influence the use of thromboprophylaxis. Methods: Data from 4238 patients who underwent foot and ankle surgery over 2 years were analyzed. Venous thromboembolism within the first 30 days following surgery was recorded using the Australasian College of Podiatric Surgeons surgical audit tool. Logistic regression analyses were undertaken to determine the factors that influenced thromboprophylaxis. Results: Of the 4238 patient records, 3677 records (87%) provided complete data (age range 2-94 years; mean ± SD, 49.1 ± 19.7 years; 2693 females). A total of 7 venous thromboembolic events (0.2% rate) were reported. Operative duration and age (OR 12.63, 95% CI 9.47 to 16.84, P < 0.01), postoperative immobilization (OR 6.94, 95% CI 3.95 to 12.20, P < 0.01), and a prior history of VTE (OR 3.41, 95% CI 1.01 to 11.04, P = 0.04) were the strongest predictors of thromboprophylaxis. Conclusion: Podiatric foot and ankle surgery is associated with a low rate of venous thromboembolism. This may be due in part to the thromboprophylaxis regime implemented by podiatric surgeons, which closely aligns with current evidence-based guidelines.

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