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A Journal on Orthopedics and Traumatology

Official Journal of the Piedmontese-Ligurian-Lombard Society of Orthopedics and Traumatology
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Minerva Ortopedica e Traumatologica 2008 December;59(6):379-82

language: English

Popliteal artery and vein occlusion following cerclage wiring of the distal femur: a case report

Narin C., Ege E., Onoglu R., Yeniterzi M.

Selçuk University, Meram Medical School Department of Cardiovascular Surgery Konya, Turkey


Vascular complications in orthopedic surgery are not frequent, but they can be severe and occasionally limb-threatening. While spontaneous complications are not directly dependent on the surgical procedure, iatrogenic complications are those actively caused by surgical maneuvers or by instrumentation. Although vascular injury during placement of a cerclage wire is feared by all surgeons, its occurrence is rare and we have been able to find only one reported case describing an injury to the femoral artery and vein. This case report describes the surgical management of occlusions of the popliteal artery and vein following a cerclage wiring procedure of the distal femur during a total knee replacement procedure. Surgical treatment was accomplished by resection of the entrapped artery and vein segments and reattachment with end to end anastomosis. The orthopedic surgeon must be aware of prevalent risk of vascular injury during knee surgery and be diligent and methodological about performing preoperative and postoperative vascular examination in these patients.

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