Papers And Originals

Prevention of Early Postoperative Deep Vein Thrombosis by Passive Exercise of Leg during Surgery

Br Med J 1971; 3 doi: (Published 10 July 1971) Cite this as: Br Med J 1971;3:82
  1. S. Sabri,
  2. V. C. Roberts,
  3. L. T. Cotton


    A clinical trial assessed the effect of passive exercise of the lower limb during surgery on the incidence of early postoperative deep vein thrombosis. Thrombosis was diagnosed by means of the 125I-fibrinogen uptake test. Passive exercise of the lower limb during the operation was achieved by using a motorized foot mover designed for use on supine subjects, and by pedalling only one leg each patient acted as his own control.

    In a sequential statistical analysis, 47 patients were required to reach the 5% level of significance. Thrombosis was detected in 11 control (unpedalled) legs alone, and in only one pedalled leg alone. Two patients developed thrombosis bilaterally. The investigation shows that the incidence of early thrombosis in legs which were exercised during surgery was reduced by 77%.