This is a literature review on the history of venous trauma since the 1800s, especially that to the common femoral, femoral and popliteal veins, with focus on the early 1900s, World War I, World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War, and then civilian and military reviews (1960–2020). In the latter two groups, tables were used to summarize the following: incidence of venous repair versus ligation, management of popliteal venous injuries, patency of venous repairs when assessed <30 days from operation, patency of venous repairs when assessed >30 days from operation, clinical assessment (edema or not) after ligation versus repair, incidence of deep venous thrombosis after ligation versus repair, and incidence of pulmonary embolism after ligation versus repair. There is a lack of the following in the literature on the management of venous injuries over the past 80 years: standard definition of magnitude of venous injury in operative reports, accepted indications for venous repair, standard postoperative management, and timing and mode of early and later postoperative assessment. Multiple factors have entered into the decision on venous ligation versus repair after trauma for the past 60 years, but a surgeon’s training and local management protocols have the most influence in both civilian and military centers. Ligation of venous injuries, particularly those in the lower extremities, is well tolerated in civilian trauma, although there is the usual lack of short- and long-term follow-up as noted in many of the articles reviewed.
- Vein ligation
- Vein repair
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine