Morbidity and mortality after fragility hip fracture surgery in patients receiving vitamin K antagonists and direct oral anticoagulants

Tal Frenkel Rutenberg*, Steven Velkes, Maria Vitenberg, Avi Leader, Yael Halavy, Pia Raanani, Mustafa Yassin, Galia Spectre

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Early surgical treatment is recommended to reduce morbidity and mortality in patients with fragility hip fractures. Anticoagulation treatment poses a surgical challenge. While the action of vitamin K antagonists (VKAs) can be reversed, for direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) antidote is only available for dabigatran. We aimed to assess the outcomes of patients treated with VKAs or DOACs undergoing surgical treatment for fragility hip fractures. Materials and methods: A retrospective study of patients presenting with proximal femoral fractures between January 2012 and June 2016. Patients with VKAs received vitamin-K. Primary outcomes were 1-year and in-hospital mortality. Secondary outcomes were time to surgery, in-hospital complications, need for blood transfusions and 1-year readmissions. Results: Seven-hundred seventy-nine patients (796 hips) were included; 103 received VKAs, 47 DOACs and 646 no-anticoagulation. No difference between the 3 groups was noted with respect to patients’ demographics or surgery type. Charlson's comorbidity index was higher for the DOACs group. Patients under anticoagulation were delayed to theater (Surgery < 48 h in 51% DOACs and 59% VKAs patients vs. 92% of no-anticoagulation, p < 0.001). Neither in-hospital nor 1-year mortality differed between groups. No other outcome measures differed, except for more wound infections in VKAs patients. Conclusions: While preoperative anticoagulation delays surgery following fragility hip fractures, this delay was not found to be related to increased morbidity or mortality. DOACs-treated patients did not have adverse outcomes compared to VKAs-treated patients despite the irreversibility of their treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)106-112
Number of pages7
JournalThrombosis Research
StatePublished - Jun 2018


  • DOACs-direct oral anticoagulants
  • Fragility fractures
  • Morbidity
  • Mortality
  • NOACs-novel anticoagulants
  • Vitamin K antagonists


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