Free Essay: Efficacy And Safety Of Low-Molecular-Weight Heparin After Knee Arthroscopy

Published: 2022-11-17
Free Essay: Efficacy And Safety Of Low-Molecular-Weight Heparin After Knee Arthroscopy
Type of paper:  Article review
Categories:  Medicine Surgery Healthcare
Pages: 3
Wordcount: 570 words
5 min read

Knee arthroscopy is described as a surgical technique that is used to not only diagnose problems in the knee joint but treat the problem as well. With the help of an arthroscope, surgeons can make small incisions into the knee which allows them to diagnose the complication. Venous thromboembolism (VTE) on the other hand is a condition whereby blood clots form in the deep veins of the leg, arm or groin and travel in the blood circulatory system and into the lungs causing their lodging - otherwise referred to as pulmonary embolism (PE).

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A combination of deep venous thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE) leads to the formation of VTE. According to statistics, VTE is one of the leading causes of disability and death in the world.

In recent past, heparin also referred to as unfractionated heparin (UFH), is used as an anticoagulant or a blood thinner. In producers such as knee arthroscopy, it is used to prevent and treat DVT, PE, and arterial thromboembolism. In some cases, it is used to treat heart attacks. Low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH) is widely used in knee arthroscopy as a way of reducing perioperative thromboembolic complications.

Although the safety and efficacy of LMWH are unclear, Huang et al. (2018) analyze the procedure in seven controlled clinical trials to determine its effectiveness and complications. The researchers' findings indicated that when the group treated with LMWH after knee arthroscopy was compared to the controlled group, there was no association in the reduction of symptomatic VTE rate, symptomatic PE rate or symptomatic DVT rate. This meant that the use of LMWH after knee arthroscopy was ineffective and therefore recommended against its provision after surgery (Huang et al., 2018).

I agree and support the recommendations provided based on the findings presented in the article. The article highlights the importance of knee arthroscopy given the fact that it one of the most common surgical operations for the knee. This particular operation has proven useful for those who suffer from knee diseases. However, VTE during the postoperative period is common and is therefore considered a significant health problem. Huang et al. (2018) indicate that there are studies that suggest that "patients undergoing knee arthroscopy receive effective prophylaxis of VTE using Low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH)," while others are indicating that "LMWH has the potential to prevent thromboembolic events in non-major orthopedic settings compared with no treatment."

However, a study conducted in a randomized controlled trial (RCT) indicated that the use of Low-molecular-weight heparin after arthroscopic knee surgery is not effective in preventing symptomatic VTE which further questions the role of LMWH and its efficacy in knee arthroscopy. The study does not dispute the fact that there has been positive feedback from patients who have gone through arthroscopic surgery.

Nevertheless, there are several disadvantages associated with LMWH. One such drawback is the potential risk of bleeding after using LMWH. The fact further supports the study there has not been a meta-analysis to investigate the safety of LMWH in patients after the surgery. This is why the article aims at assessing the efficacy and safety of LMWH. According to the report, there was no potential efficacy of LMWH in preventing VTE or preventing major bleeding in the study groups.


Huang, H. F., Tian, J. L., Yang, X. T., Sun, L., Hu, R. Y., Yan, Z. H., ... & Tian, X. B. (2018). Efficacy and safety of low-molecular-weight heparin after knee arthroscopy: A meta-analysis. PloS one, 13(6), e0197868.

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