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Thromboprophylaxis Need Assessed in Spine Surgery

Last Updated: July 06, 2009.

In spinal trauma with or without spinal cord injury, spine surgeons agree that pharmacologic thromboprophylaxis is necessary for selected groups of patients, according to a study published in the July issue of The Spine Journal.

MONDAY, July 6 (HealthDay News) -- In spinal trauma with or without spinal cord injury, spine surgeons agree that pharmacologic thromboprophylaxis is necessary for selected groups of patients, according to a study published in the July issue of The Spine Journal.

At a meeting of spine trauma surgeons, Avraam Ploumis, M.D., of Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, and colleagues conducted a live survey of 25 surgeons on the use of thromboprophylaxis after spinal trauma in patients with or without spinal cord injury.

The researchers found that all 25 surgeons agreed that postoperative thromboprophylaxis was needed in patients with cervical spine injuries associated with spinal cord injury, but not in those without spinal cord injury, and that it was also needed in those who underwent anterior thoracolumbar procedures with or without spinal cord injury. Agreement was lower for withholding preoperative thromboprophylaxis in cervical or thoracolumbar spinal injuries with or without spinal cord injury (53 and 68 percent, respectively), and the need for postoperative thromboprophylaxis after posterior thoracolumbar procedures in patients with or without spinal cord injury (80 percent).

"It is important to understand that the current study is not an evidence-based guideline," states the author of an accompanying editorial. "It is the documentation of a process by which a group of highly experienced spine surgeons attempted to resolve a number of issues regarding thromboembolic prophylaxis after spinal injury. Nonetheless, the current findings can act as a starting point for further research and guideline development."

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