Research & Innovation in Anesthesia

Register      Login

VOLUME 3 , ISSUE 2 ( July-December, 2018 ) > List of Articles


Fat Embolism Syndrome in a Patient who Underwent Unilateral Total Knee Replacement

Vaishali S Kulkarni

Keywords : Fat embolism syndrome, Local anesthetics, Total knee replacement, Pulmonary embolism

Citation Information : Kulkarni VS. Fat Embolism Syndrome in a Patient who Underwent Unilateral Total Knee Replacement. Res Inno Anesth 2018; 3 (2):56-59.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10049-0051

License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published Online: 01-06-2019

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2018; The Author(s).


Fat embolism syndrome (FES) is known to be relatively common in cases of multiple traumatic fractures; it is rare in cases of total knee arthroplasty. We describe a case of a 61-year-old female who underwent unilateral total knee arthroplasty, 5 hours later she developed slurring of speech, disorientation subsequently desaturated, requiring intubation. The clinical diagnosis of fat embolism syndrome was made by criteria of exclusion. Fat embolism syndrome can occur unexpectedly in elective reconstructive orthopedic procedures. One should have a high degree of clinical suspicion of fat embolism syndrome when a patient deteriorates perioperatively. The treatment is primarily supportive.

PDF Share
  1. Taviloglu K, Yanar H. Fat embolism syndrome. Surg Today 2007;37(1):5-8.
  2. Yeo SH, Chang HW, Sohn SI, et al. Pulmonary and Cerebral Fat Embolism Syndrome After Total Knee Replacement. J Clin Med Res 2013;5(3):239-242.
  3. Hofmann S, Huemer G, Salzer M. Pathophysiology and management of the fat embolism syndrome. Anaesthesia 1998;53(S2):35-37.
  4. Hulman G. The pathogenesis of fat embolism. J Pathol 1995;176(1):3-9.
  5. Saigal R, Mittal M, Kansal A, et al. Assoc Physicians India 2008;56:245-249.
  6. Watson AJ. Genesis of fat emboli. J Clin Pathol (R Coll Pathol) 1970;4(Supp l):132-142.
  7. Christie J, Robinson CM, Pell AC, et al. Transcardiac echocardiography during invasive intramedullary procedures. Bone Jt J 1995;77–B(3):450-455.
  8. Schonfeld SA, Ploysongsang Y, DiLisio R, et al. Fat embolism prophylaxis with corticosteroids. A prospective study in highrisk patients. Ann Intern Med 1983;99(4):438-443.
  9. Gurd AR, Wilson RI. The fat embolism syndrome. J Bone Joint Surg Br 1974;56B(3):408-416.
  10. Kaplan RP, Grant JN, Kaufman AJ. Dermatologic features of the fat embolism syndrome. Cutis 1986;38(1):52-55.
  11. Liljedahl SO, Westermark L. Aetiology and treatment of fat embolism. Report of five cases. Acta Anaesthesiol Scand 1967;11(3):177-194.
  12. Van den Brande FGJ, Hellemans S, De Schepper A, et al. Post-traumatic severe fat embolism syndrome with uncommon CT findings. Anaesth Intensive Care 2006;34(1):102-106.
  13. Prys-Roberts C, Greenbaum R, Nunn JF, et al. Disturbances of pulmonary function in patients with fat embolism. J Clin Pathol Suppl (R Coll Pathol) 1970;4:143-149.
  14. O'Higgins JW. Fat embolism. Br J Anaesth 1970;42(2):163-168.
PDF Share
PDF Share

© Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishers (P) LTD.