Venous Thromboembolism Prophylaxis in Foot and Ankle Surgery: A Worldwide Survey

Roberto Zambelli, Sophie Frölke, Caio Nery, Daniel Baumfeld, Cristian Ortiz, Suzanne Cannegieter, Banne Nemeth, Suely Meireles Rezende*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Current recommendations on thromboprophylaxis for foot and ankle (FA) surgery are often inconsistent and generally based on weak evidence. The aim of this survey study was to evaluate the current practice among orthopedic surgeons regarding venous thromboembolism (VTE) prophylaxis following FA surgery. From February 2019 to March 2020, an online questionnaire was sent by e-mail to orthopedic societies across the world. The questionnaire was hosted by the International Society of Thrombosis and Haemostais RedCAP platform. Topics of interest were VTE rates following FA surgery, duration and type of thromboprophylaxis, bleeding complications, VTE risk factors for prophylaxis and use of risk assessment. A total of 693 FA orthopedic surgeons from all continents completed the survey of whom 392 (57%) performed more than 200 FA procedures per year. A total of 669/693 (97%) respondents stated that thromboprophylaxis is necessary in FA surgeries. When thromboprophylaxis was prescribed, half of surgeons prescribed it for the duration of immobilization. Acetylsalicylic acid, low molecular weight heparin and direct-oral anticoagulants were, in this order, the preferred choice. Acetylsalicylic acid and low molecular weight heparin were predominantly prescribed in North America and Europe, respectively. Previous deep vein thrombosis, immobility, obesity and inherited thrombophilia were considered the main risk factors indicative of thromboprophylaxis use. In this survey, most surgeons agree that thromboprophylaxis is indicated for FA surgery, but the prescription, type and duration of prophylaxis differs greatly with a large intercontinental discrepancy. These survey results could be a foundation for developing uniform guidelines to optimize thromboprophylactic strategies in FA procedures around the world.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-63
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Foot and Ankle Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2024
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons


  • 5
  • foot and ankle surgery
  • pulmonary embolism
  • questionnaire
  • survey
  • venous thromboembolism


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