The effect of acute popliteal venous interruption

N. M. Rich, R. W. Hobson, G. J. Collins, C. A. Andersen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

102 Scopus citations


Popliteal vascular trauma continues to be associated with a relatively high morbidity rate when compared to other major vascular injuries in extremities. There is continuing controversy regarding the management of popliteal venous injuries. The advocates of ligation of injured veins have postulated that there is an increased incidence in thrombophlebitis and pulmonary embolism associated with attempted venous repair. There is a paucity of valid statistics supporting either side of this controversy. Clinical experience documented in the Vietnam Vascular Registry and experimental work at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research have supported our more aggressive approach for venous repair. This study evaluates the management of 110 injured popliteal veins without associated popliteal arterial trauma. Nearly an equal number were ligated and repaired. Thrombophlebitis and pulmonary embolism were not significant complications in this series. The only pulmonary embolus occurred after ligation of a injured popliteal vein. However, there was a significant increase in edema of the involved extremity following ligation, 50.9% compared to 13.2% after repair.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)365-368
Number of pages4
JournalAnnals of surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1976
Externally publishedYes


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