A New Antithrombotic Strategy, the Selective Inhibition of Coagulation Factors, and Its Importance to the Orthopedic Specialist


Traditional anticoagulant drugs including vitamin K antagonists and heparins have several limitations. Despite their use, the burden of venous thromboembolism remains high, particularly in patients undergoing major orthopedic surgery. A new strategy for the design of new antithrombotic drugs is based on selective inhibition of a specific coagulation factor. Fondaparinux is a synthetic selective inhibitor of factor Xa, which is critically positioned at the start of the common pathway of the coagulation system. Its pharmacokinetic profile allows for once-daily administration without the need for laboratory monitoring or dose adjustment. Fondaparinux has demonstrated its efficacy compared to a widely used low-molecular-weight heparin in a number of thromboprophylaxis trials after major orthopedic surgery and is approved for use in this setting. (Journal of the Southern Orthopaedic Association 11(4):197–202,

Kenneth A. Bauer, MD, Bengt I. Eriksson, MD, Michael R. Lassen, MD, Alexander
G.G. Turpie, MD, FRCP