Wang et al identified risk factors for venous thromboembolism following spine surgery. This can help to identify a patient who may benefit from interventions to reduce the risk of thromboembolism. The authors are from the Third Hospital of Hebei Medical University, Jizhong Energy Fengfeng Group General Hospital and Hebei Provincial Key Laboratory of Orthopedic Biomechanics in Shijiazhuang, China.

Patient selection: posterior spine surgery, age >= 18 years


Exclusions: trauma, tumor and/or deformity


Outcome: post-operative venous thromboembolism (VTE)


Factors associated with increased risk of VTE:

(1) Asian race

(2) wearing elastic stockings after surgery (odds ratio 11.7)

(3) walking disability prior to surgery (odds ratio 4.8)

(4) diabetes (odds ratio 2.1)

(5) hypertension(odds ratio 1.6)


Factors associated with a reduced risk of VTE:

(1) lumbar spine surgery (odds ratio 0.23)



• A patient may be wearing elastic stockings because of a perceived risk of VTE.

• The authors state that lumbar surgery increases the risk of VTE but the odds ratio of 0.23 indicates the opposite.


The authors found that anticoagulation therapy did not reduce the risk of VTE. The effectiveness of anticoagulation therapy is affected by the dose.

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