Compression Device May Outperform Meds after Hip Surgery

Leg pump looks as effective as blood thinner, study finds

MSN Health & Fitness—April 8, 2010

After hip replacement surgery, a compression device works as well as medication -- and is safer -- for preventing blood clots, a new study suggests.

"This device is as useful as blood thinners for the reduction of blood clots after hip replacement, and it's superior in safety," said study co-author Dr. Douglas E. Padgett, chief of adult reconstruction and joint replacement at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City, in a statement. "This has the potential to change the paradigm as to how we prevent blood clots after hip replacement. The efficacy is the same, the safety is markedly better and the cost is comparable."

In the study, researchers looked at a compression device that wraps around the leg and pumps it, helping to prevent clots. Typically, these devices are only used in hospitals because they're big and restrict movement, but a new, smaller device can be used outside the hospital.
The study is published in the March issue of Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

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