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Orthopedics. 1994 Sep;17(9):789-92.

An algorithm for the management of femoral neck fractures.

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  • 1Div of Orthopedic Surgery, University of Alabama at Birmingham 35294-3295.


The choice of total hip arthroplasty should probably be reserved for those rare patients with preexisting osteoarthritis of the hip in the setting of a subcapital hip fracture. Additionally, relative indications for total hip arthroplasty may include the presence of contralateral hip disease; the presence of metabolic bone disease, which may controvert internal fixation or reasonable results with endoprosthetic replacement; and those patients with high activity expectations or life expectancy greater than 5 years. Given the diminished performance of hemiarthroplasty with time and activity, it may be argued that the most cost effective solution to the subcapital hip fracture in the majority of patients may be the reduction and internal fixation pathway, with elective conversion, when necessary, of the approximately 25% of patients who suffer avascular necrosis to total hip arthroplasty. It appears that hemiarthroplasty is best suited for the elderly household ambulator, whereas total hip arthroplasty is the better alternative either as the elective solution to failed internal fixation of femoral neck fractures or in the occasional community ambulator with high activity expectations and irreducible femoral neck fractures. Younger patients, and those with minimally displaced fractures, should be treated with internal fixation in an attempt to preserve the natural hip joint.

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