Journal of Thrombosis and Thrombolysis

, Volume 45, Issue 4, pp 562–570 | Cite as

No effectiveness of anticoagulants for thromboprophylaxis after non-major knee arthroscopy: a systemic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

  • Gang Zheng
  • Qian Tang
  • Ping Shang
  • Xiao-Yun Pan
  • Hai-Xiao Liu


Arthroscopic knee surgery is the most commonly performed orthopedic procedure worldwide and whether thromboprophylaxis should be undertaken after knee arthroscopy is still controversial. To evaluate the efficacy of thromboprophylaxis for deep venous thrombosis (DVT) and venous thromboembolism (VTE) after knee arthroscopic surgery. A meta-analysis was conducted using data from eight randomized trials (4148 patients) to compare thromboprophylaxis with placebo or no prophylactic treatment in patients undergoing knee arthroscopy. The benefits and harms of thromboprophylaxis were evaluated, including the incidence of asymptomatic DVT, symptomatic VTE, pulmonary embolism and anti-coagulation related adverse events. Thromboprophylaxis significantly decreased the incidence of DVT (95% CI 0.07–0.64, P = 0.006) and symptomatic VTE in patients undergoing knee arthroscopy (95% CI 0.23–0.76, P = 0.004), but not significantly decreased the incidence of pulmonary embolism (n.s.). Regarding to non-major knee arthroscopy surgery (simple surgical procedures without ligament reconstruction), no significant difference of the incidence of DVT or symptomatic VTE was noted between thromboprophylactic group and control group (n.s.). Thromboprophylactic treatment showed higher incidence rate of anti-coagulation related adverse events compared with the control group (95% CI 1.12–1.90, P = 0.005). There was no significant difference of the incidence of clinically relevant major bleeding between the two groups (n.s.). This meta-analysis indicates no effectiveness of thromboprophylaxis for preventing DVT or symptomatic VTE in patients undergoing non-major knee arthroscopy. Regarding to patient undergoing knee ligament construction, the thromboprophylactic strategy should mainly take into account the patient’s risk factors.


Venous Thromboembolism Thrombosis Knee arthroscopy Thromboprophylaxis 



We thank all the anonymous reviewers for their helpful suggestions on the quality improvement of our paper.

Author contributions

HXL and GZ was responsible for the study concept and design and drafting of the manuscript. PS and QT was responsible for the trials selection and appraisal of methodological quality. QT and GZ participated in acquisition, analysis, and interpretation of data. XYP provided consultation of statistics and methodology. HXL were in charge of the study concept and design, supervised the study and critically revised the manuscript for important intellectual content. All authors read and approve the final manuscript.


This study was supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 81501869, 81601983).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Informed consent

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Orthopaedic SurgeryThe Second Affiliated Hospital and Yuying Children’s Hospital of Wenzhou Medical UniversityWenzhouChina
  2. 2.Department of RehabilitationThe Second Affiliated Hospital and Yuying Children’s Hospital of Wenzhou Medical UniversityWenzhouChina

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