Greenslopes Private Hospital
Part of Ramsay Health Care


Greenslopes specialists help to research aspirin benefits

Aug 02, 2019

Greenslopes Private Hospital surgeons are probing the benefits of using aspirin to help prevent blood clots after total knee and hip replacements, in a new national trial known as the CRISTAL Study.

It is already common for patients to use aspirin after these major procedures, but there has been little evidence to prove its suitability over other anticoagulant medication. 

Orthopaedic surgeon Dr Mark Dekkers said: “The main aim of the study is to prove that aspirin is no worse than another anticoagulant medication known as Clexane, which is more expensive and is administered through an injection.”  

The trial will involve more than 1000 patients of all ages who have undergone either a hip or knee replacement. Half of the group will be prescribed aspirin; the other half will be administered Clexane over an 18-month period. 

Both procedures require anticoagulants after surgery to help prevent deep vein thrombosis and blood clots, which increase the risk of pulmonary embolism. 

Three Greenslopes Private Hospital orthopaedic surgeons - Dr Mark Dekkers, Dr Phil Dalton and Dr Ross Kennedy - were invited to take part in the national trial. 

“There are a lot of protocols but there is not one protocol and unfortunately with all the surgeons at Greenslopes we all do something different at the moment, so what we want to do is get that standardised,” Dr Dekkers said. 

Patients are also required to start early mobility exercises after each of the procedures, which will remain the same during the trial. 

In Australia, more than 100,000 total hip and knee replacement procedures are performed each year; surgical teams at Greenslopes Private Hospital perform between 800 to 1000. 

“We are dealing with an aging population who are starting to outlive their joints, because they are more active,” Dr Dekkers said.