The management of popliteal aneurysm: the importance of early surgical repair.
Halliday AW., Taylor PR., Wolfe JH., Mansfield AO.
A total of 58 popliteal aneurysms were found in 40 patients presenting between June 1982 and May 1989. Of these, 51 were caused by atherosclerosis, and there were five post-stenotic aneurysms associated with entrapment, one mycotic and one post-traumatic aneurysm. There were 18 patients with bilateral aneurysms, and two others had the first side repaired elsewhere before referral to this hospital. Aneurysms were found at other sites in 16 patients. Urgent treatment was needed for 32 patients (80%). Two required streptokinase treatment to clear arteries distally. Three needed fasciotomy for compartment syndrome. Two patients had above-knee amputation. Of 36 urgent operations, 13 had postoperative complications (36%). Four grafts were later revised successfully. At mean follow-up of 23 months (range 3-96 months), three patients had claudication secondary to preoperative distal arterial occlusion, and one patient had residual mild foot drop. These operative results contrast sharply with the low complication rate after elective operation for popliteal aneurysm. In these patients, 14 asymptomatic aneurysms were repaired uneventfully. Four patients who did not undergo elective operation later developed acute thrombosis (3) and rupture (1). This experience supports our policy that early elective treatment for popliteal artery aneurysm is the most appropriate choice.