Major Surgery

and Lowering Risks for Life-Threatening Blood Clots

Couple talking with doctor and signing forms prior to surgery

Why does major orthopedic surgery increase the risk of blood clot?

A blood clot can complicate the recovery after a major orthopedic surgery such as a knee replacement or a hip fracture surgery.

Orthopedic patients are more likely to develop clots due to:

  • Blood clotting around the tissue and bone injury
  • Injury to the blood vein
  • Limited ability to move

How can I lower my risks during and after a major orthopedic surgery?

Keep moving

Move as much as possible after your surgery and exercise as instructed by your healthcare provider to improve blood flow.

Discuss Medication

Talk to your healthcare provider to find out if you should consider blood thinners after surgery.

Drink Water

Get enough hydration, especially if you’re immobile.

Consider Compression

Use graduated compression stockings if recommended by your healthcare provider. Ask about massaging compression devices if you’re lying down down for long periods.

Know The Symptoms

Learn to recognize the symptoms of a dangerous blood clot and speak up if you notice anything that concerns you.

Learn more about the symptoms of dangerous blood clot or VTE.

More than one risk factor?

Any time you may have overlapping risks,
be sure your healthcare provider are aware.

Image of hispanic woman doctor talking with patient, downloadable guide is featured as overlay

Discover life-saving facts about symptoms, prevention and treatment of blood clots at heart.org/VTE.