INTRODUCTION: Although low incidences have been reported, patients undergoing spinal surgery are at risk for developing thromboembolic complications. While deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is one of the potential serious complications, reports on its frequency and risk factors are few. The purpose of this study was to assess the perioperative incidence rate and risk factors for DVT associated with spinal surgery.
METHODS: We retrospectively assessed 123 patients who underwent spinal surgery and had also received echography before and after surgery (patients: 78 males, 45 females; average age at operation: 62.7 years‐old) between December 2006 and July 2009. The diagnoses were spondylosis (59), metastatic spinal tumor (20), vertebral and spinal cord tumor (7), and others (37). Other parameters assessed for all patients included operation time, operation blood loss, and general complications. Logistic regression analysis was used to identify the postoperative risk factors for DVT associated with spinal surgery.
RESULTS: Before spinal surgery, 8 patients (6.5%) showed DVT [proximal DVT, 1 (0.8%); distal DVT, 7 (5.7%); spondylosis, 5 (4.1%); others, 3 (2.4%)]. On the other hand, 14 patients (11.4%) developed new‐onset DVT after spinal surgery [proximal DVT, 1 (0.8%); distal DVT, 13 (10.6%); spondylosis, 4 (3.3%); metastatic spinal tumor, 5 (4.1%); vertebral and spinal cord tumor, 1 (0.8%); others, 4 (3.3%)]. Age at the time of operation was significantly associated with an increased risk of DVT after spinal surgery (p<0.05); however the other parameters had no relationship to the occurrence of DVT.
DISCUSSION: Pre‐operative echography detected DVT in 8 patients (6.5%) before surgery; this suggests that pre‐operative echography plays an important role in detecting this serious complication. In patients with metastatic spinal tumors, newonset DVT after surgery was more frequent. Age at operation was a significant risk factor for DVT.