The occurrence of a blood clot or thrombosis after total joint replacement is another potential risk. Because patients are mobile very early in the postoperative period, this is a complication that is seen much less frequently now than in the past.
In addition to early mobility, patients are treated with pulsatile stockings, (to prevent the stasis of blood in the lower extremities) and low doses of aspirin or other anticoagulation medications to reduce the risk of forming a thrombosis.
If a patient is diagnosed with a blood clot, treatment with intravenous heparin and oral coumadin is initiated. As a result, patients may need to be hospitalized slightly longer, but recuperation remains normal overall.
While these complications may occur after any total joint surgery, both hip and knee joint replacement have unique problems which may occur.