Studies that evaluated anticoagulation, deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism or thromboembolic disease in patients who had undergone spinal surgery were eligible for inclusion. Case reports, studies that evaluated anaesthetic procedures, lumbar punctures and studies of patients with spinal cord injury were excluded.
Where reported, primary studies involved patients who underwent various types of spinal surgery, including spine reconstruction, anterior and posterior interbody fusion, lumbar disc surgery, scoliosis surgery, trauma surgery and laminectomy. Where specified, methods of antithrombolic prophylaxis included none, pneumatic sequential compression device (PSCD), PSCD plus thigh length compression stockings (TED), elastic compression stockings, pharmacological methods, inferior vena cava filter insertion and mixed methods. Studies used different methods of thromboembolic disease surveillance including clinical, Doppler ultrasound and venogram.
Two reviewers screened all titles and abstracts and selected studies.