Patients undergoing total hip arthroplasty (THA) and total knee arthroplasty (TKA) are at high risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) postoperatively, necessitating the use of prophylaxis medications. This investigation used a large claims database to evaluate trends in postoperative DVT prophylaxis and rates of DVT within 6 months after THA or TKA.

Truven Health MarketScan Commercial Claims and Encounters and Medicare Supplemental and Coordination of Benefits databases were reviewed from 2004 to 2013 for patients who underwent THA or TKA. Data were collected on patient age, sex, Charlson Comorbidity Index, and hypercoagulability diagnoses. Postoperative medication claims were reviewed for prescribed aspirin, warfarin, enoxaparin, fondaparinux, rivaroxaban, and dabigatran.

A total of 369,483 patients were included in the analysis, of which 239,949 patients had prescription medication claims. Warfarin was the most commonly prescribed anticoagulant. Patients with a hypercoagulable diagnosis had markedly more DVTs within 6 months after THA or TKA. More patients with a hypercoagulable diagnosis were treated with warfarin or lovenox than other types of anticoagulants. A multivariate regression analysis was performed, showing that patients prescribed aspirin, fondaparinux, and rivaroxaban were markedly less likely than those prescribed warfarin or enoxaparin to have a DVT within 6 months after THA or TKA.

After THA and TKA, warfarin is the most commonly prescribed prophylaxis. Patients with hypercoagulability diagnoses are at a higher risk of postoperative DVT. The likelihood of DVT within 6 months of THA and TKA was markedly higher in patients treated with warfarin and lovenox and markedly lower in those treated with aspirin, fondaparinux, and rivaroxaban.

Level III.

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