It is imperative that the orthopedic surgeon recognize the magnitude of the problem of thromboembolic disease. It is the most common complication of trauma or surgical procedures. Because the clinical signs and symptoms of deep venous thrombosis are so variable, and since pulmonary embolism is often the first sign of deep venous thrombosis, techniques for screening and diagnosis must be further refined. The 125I fibrinogen localization of propagating venous thrombi in the legs is a very promising and sensitive screening procedure. With refinements, the Doppler effect flowmeter and impedance phlebography may prove to be valuable screening techniques. Venography is still one of the most effective procedures in detecting venous thrombi and remains the standard method of detection. The search must continue for better methods of prevention, diagnosis, and treatment.
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