Is deep venous thrombosis a common complication in patients treated with Ilizarov external fixator?


  • Sandeep Reddy Department of Orthopaedics, MS Ramaiah Medical College, Bengaluru, Karnataka
  • Harshad M. Shah Department of Orthopaedics, MS Ramaiah Medical College, Bengaluru, Karnataka
  • Naveen Kumar L. Department of Orthopaedics, MS Ramaiah Medical College, Bengaluru, Karnataka
  • Rahul P. Department of Orthopaedics, MS Ramaiah Medical College, Bengaluru, Karnataka
  • Vimal Kumar K. H. Department of Orthopaedics, MS Ramaiah Medical College, Bengaluru, Karnataka



Ilizarov external fixator, Lower limb, DVT, Chemoprophylaxis


Background: Determining the incidence of deep venous thrombosis (DVT), a prospective study, in patients treated with Ilizarov external fixators for lower extremity fractures, fracture non unions or deformity correction.

Methods: A Prospective, observational and cross sectional study. 49 Patients with complex lower extremity injuries, deformities and non-union of fractures were treated with Ilizarov external fixator application, were assessed clinically and radiological (Venous Doppler) at regular intervals- 6 days post-surgery then at 6 weeks, 12 weeks and between 4 to 6 months post-operative. None were given chemoprophylaxis for the prevention of DVT and everyone were assessed pre operatively with a questionnaire and wells criteria was taken for assessment of high risk for developing venous thrombosis. There were 41 men and 8 women, 85.75% of the study group is of age 30 to 60 years.

Results: Only 1 of 49 patients developed radiological evident DVT within 6 days of surgery. Patients who underwent application of Ilizarov external fixator electively for deformity correction, osteomyelitis and non-union showed no clinical or radiological evident signs of DVT.

Conclusions: The incidence of DVT and PTE is minimal when patients without chemoprophylaxis underwent lower limb Ilizarov external fixator application for acute trauma and electively for deformity correction, treatment of non-union and osteomyelitis. However further comparative and randomized studies need to be done to confirm our results.

Author Biography

Naveen Kumar L., Department of Orthopaedics, MS Ramaiah Medical College, Bengaluru, Karnataka

Resident, Department Of Orthopaedics


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Original Research Articles