Blood Thinners after Arthroplasty

Arthroplasty is a medical term for knee replacement surgery. Surgeons replace damaged cartilage, bone and joints in the area around the knee with an artificial joint. Artificial joints are made out of metals and plastics that function much like a real joint. A knee replacement surgery is usually performed after the knee joint becomes severely damaged.

Blood thinners are prescribed after an arthoplasty because surgery can increase the likelihood of a clot in the blood vessels located in the leg. Blood thinners help keep the blood stable and not in a state of clotting. Blood thinners such as warfarin (Coumadin) help block the formation of clots by interfering with vitamin K. There are many foods and medications that interact with warfarin. Enoxaparin (Lovenox) is an injectable blood thinner that is sometimes used.