For patients who have undergone major orthopedic surgery such as hip or knee replacement, extending post-surgery use of medications, from the standard 7-10 days to 28 days or longer, to prevent blood clots may be beneficial, according to a new AHRQ Effective Health Care Program review. While there is not enough evidence to determine which type of anti-clotting medication is best, within the heparin class of medications, low molecular-weight heparin was found to be superior to unfractioned heparin. More research, particularly clinical trials, is needed to compare the effectiveness of using single or combination therapies, including medications or mechanical prophylaxis, such as leg compression or foot pumps and to evaluate the use of medications after less serious types of orthopedic surgery. Select to access the review, Venous Thromboembolism Prophylaxis in Orthopedic Surgery.
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