Orthopaedic surgery in haemophilia patients with inhibitors: a practical guide to haemostatic, surgical and rehabilitative care
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All but essential surgery is generally avoided in haemophilia patients with inhibitor antibodies, because of concern about the reliability with which haemostasis can be achieved and maintained in such patients. Orthopaedic surgical procedures which are not required to preserve life fall under this category. As a result, patients with inhibitors may be denied operations, which could greatly enhance their quality of life, and which are routinely offered to other haemophilia patients. While caution is appropriate in recommending surgery in any circumstance, we believe that the threshold for offering validated surgical procedures to patients with inhibitors should be re-evaluated in the light of current surgical and rehabilitative techniques, and the long experience with safe and effective factor VIII inhibitor bypassing agents, namely activated prothrombin complex concentrates and recombinant activated factor FVII. In this article, we review the haematological, surgical and rehabilitative considerations relevant to orthopaedic surgery in haemophilia patients with inhibitors, and provide recommendations for carrying out such procedures.
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