Vein Disease After Total Knee Replacement Surgery
Have you recently had total knee replacement surgery? If so, you may also be suffering from vein disease in your legs.
Deep Vein Thrombosis and Vein Disease
These two conditions often go hand in hand. Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) occurs when a blood clot (thrombus) forms in one or more of the deep veins in your body, usually in your legs. Deep vein thrombosis can cause leg pain or swelling, but may occur without any symptoms.
DVT can occur in any deep vein, it most commonly occurs in the veins of the lower leg, calf or thigh. Risk factors of DVT include age, history of vein disease including varicose veins and spider veins, smoking, obesity and gender. Two of the most common factors are injury to the lower body or surgery involving the legs (including total knee replacement).
The Risks of DVT
A blood clot due to Deep Vein Thrombosis in a deep vein can break off into the bloodstream. Loose blood clots are called embolus. Embolus are dangerous because these clots could potentially move into an artery within the lungs and block blood flow. This circumstance is called pulmonary embolism or PE. PE is a serious occurrence, it can cause severe damage to the lungs and other organs which can lead to death. Blood clots deep in the thigh are most likely to break off into the bloodstream and cause pulmonary embolism. If blood clots do not break off they can still cause serious damage to the valves within the veins causing vein disease.
Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI) is a condition that occurs when the valves in the leg veins are leaking and not working effectively, making it difficult for blood to return to the heart from the legs. CVI causes blood to “pool” or collect in these veins, and this pooling is called stasis. CVI may occur as a result of DVT and is also known as post- thrombotic syndrome. As many as 30 percent of people with DVT will develop this problem within 10 years after diagnosis.
After Total Knee Replacement
It is crucial to be informed of the occurrence of Deep Vein Thrombosis and CVI after total knee surgery. During surgery of this type, the physician retracts soft tissues as part of the procedure which can then break intercellular bridges releasing substances that contribute to blood clotting. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, deep vein thrombosis in the leg is “the most common complication of knee replacement surgery…”.
According to the Department of Anesthesia and Surgical Intensive Care at the Singapore General Hospital, “Deep vein thrombosis was more common in bilateral total knee replacement (22.2%) compared to unilateral total knee replacement (13.2%). Partial thrombosis was present in 71.4% and occurred predominantly in the ipsilateral leg.” Ipsilateral meaning the clot formed on the same side of the body that the knee surgery treated. The department had conducted an examination of 100 patients who were preparing to undergo total knee replacement surgery. The appearance of DVT in Western Literature after total knee replacement surgery has been estimated between 50% and 80%.
New Knee, Healthy You
As we have discussed, if you have had total knee replacement surgery, you are at a higher risk of developing vein disease in the treated leg(s). Having a thorough evaluation by a vein specialist who is experienced in this subject can get you on a quicker road to recovery. If you feel you may be experiencing DVT or CVI after total knee replacement surgery, come see the knowledgeable staff at Alpha Vein Clinic in Las Vegas. Call us today at (702) 430-7661. Our physician, Dr. Sassan Kaveh is trained in the newest and minimally invasive techniques to get you on your way to
healthy legs again.
Alpha Vein Clinic
3150 N. Tenaya Way Ste. 400
Las Vegas, NV, 89128
(702) 430 7661
Dr. Sassan Kaveh