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Case Reports in Orthopedics
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 401968, 3 pages
Case Report

Fatal Pulmonary Embolism following Achilles Tendon Repair: A Case Report and a Review of the Literature

1Division of Orthopaedic Surgery, McGill University, 1529 Cedar Avenue, Montreal, QC, Canada H3G 1A6
2Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah 21589, Saudi Arabia
3Division of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada V5Z 1M9

Received 1 April 2013; Accepted 15 May 2013

Academic Editors: Z. Gugala and J. P. McCabe

Copyright © 2013 Asim M. Makhdom et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Deep venous thrombosis (DVT) is a significant source of morbidity in orthopaedic surgery. It can progress to a pulmonary embolism, a significant source of mortality. Up to date, patients with Achilles tendon rupture routinely do not receive DVT chemical prophylaxis. We are presenting a case of fatal pulmonary embolism after a surgically treated Achilles tendon rupture in a forty-two-year-old male healthy patient. In the current body of the literature, the reported incidence of DVT after Achilles tendon rupture is highly variable ranging from less than 1% to 34%, and there is a disagreement in the international guidelines regarding the need of chemical DVT prophylaxis with this type of injury. Further research needs to be conducted to investigate the risks and benefits of chemical DVT prophylaxis following Achilles tendon rupture. For low-risk patients, the use of milder forms of prophylaxis such as aspirin should also be explored.