You May Want To Re-think Taking A Flight After A Knee Replacement
As tempting as it might be to get away after your knee replacement surgery to some place warm and comforting, it’s time to reconsider that idea. New research presented at the 2018 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic surgeons (AAOS) shows an increase risk of deep vein thrombosis (VTE) in those who took flights to and/or from the hospital compared to those who did not.  So if you are planning to have knee replacement surgery sometime soon, don’t schedule any airline flights in the time period around the surgery if possible.
VTE is a serious complication that can follow hip and knee replacement surgery, in the form of a blood clots, and is a leading cause of death and disability worldwide.  Although the exact incidence of VTE is unknown, it is believed that 10 million cases occur annually.  Risks for VTE include extended hospital stays, surgery and long periods of not moving (e.g., bed rest or long-duration travel). 
Patients in the study flew at a mean of six days following knee replacement surgery (range 1-24days) and the mean flight time was 74 minutes (range of 40-85).
No ideas behind the mechanisms causing the increased deep vein thrombosis were given.
- Blood Clots are a potential complication from knee replacement surgery.
- Prolonged bed rest or long duration travel can increase the risk
- Taking a flight after a knee replacement may heighten the risk of a blood clot