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Acta Orthop. 2006 Jun;77(3):359-67.

Primary arthroplasty is better than internal fixation of displaced femoral neck fractures: a meta-analysis of 14 randomized studies with 2,289 patients.

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  • 1Lund University, Department of Orthopaedics, Malmö University Hospital. Malmö, Sweden.



The treatment of displaced femoral neck fractures has long been debated. 14 randomized controlled studies (RCTs) comparing internal fixation with primary arthroplasty may give material for evidence-based decision making.


Computerized databases were searched for RCTs published between 1966 and 2004. 14 RCTs containing 2,289 patients were included in a metaanalysis regarding complications, reoperations and mortality. The analysis was performed with software from the Cochrane collaboration.


Primary arthroplasty leads to significantly fewer major method-related hip complications and reoperations, compared to internal fixation. There was no significant difference in mortality between the two groups at 30 days and 1 year. Most of the studies found better function and less pain after primary arthroplasty.


Primary arthroplasty should be used in most patients with displaced femoral neck fracture. The healthy, lucid individual, 70-80 years old, should be given a total hip arthroplasty. The older, impaired or institutionalized patient would benefit from a hemiarthroplasty.

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