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Patients with haemophilia who have developed inhibitors against factor VIII (FVIII) or factor IX present a significant concern to those surgeons who operate on them. The evidence base for bypassing agents such as recombinant factor VIIa and activated prothrombin complex concentrate has amassed over several decades. The literature is open to positive interpretation on the successful use of these agents in the treatment of inhibitor-positive patients. However, there are equally persistent concerns amongst surgeons, in particular orthopaedic surgeons, regarding the high complication rate of bleeding. To explore and quantify this concern, we present a literature review spanning two decades of publications on haemophilia patients with inhibitors undergoing orthopaedic surgery. Irrespective of the progress made with haemostatic protocols, trepidation on embarking on surgery is valid. The high risk of bleeding is a function of the inherent complexity of the disease and rightfully translates into difficulties in its management. Combined with the prospect of orthopaedic surgery, those involved in the care of such patients are justified in their continued anxiety and diligence when considering the benefits in quality of life against the prevalent complications.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





21 - 32


FEIBA, bleeding risk, haemophilia, inhibitors, orthopaedic surgery, rFVIIa, Blood Coagulation Disorders, Inherited, Blood Coagulation Factors, Databases, Factual, Factor VIIa, Hemorrhage, Humans, Isoantibodies, Orthopedic Procedures, Recombinant Proteins