Femoral Neck Fracture

A femoral neck fracture is an injury that often occurs in older adults suffering from osteoporosis, especially with women. It generally happens as a result of an accident such as falling on the hip. When it occurs in younger people, it often involves some kind of traumatic injury caused by a traffic accident or falling from a significant height.

Femoral neck fractures are often intracapsular fractures, which are fractures that occur within the capsule area that contains the fluid that lubricates the hip joint. This is dangerous as the fracture may damage the surrounding blood vessels, which can then lead to bone necrosis due to insufficient blood supply.  

Causes of Femoral Neck Fracture
Femoral neck fractures most often occur from falls by people suffering from osteoporosis, but they can also result from accidents.
Symptoms may include:
  • Pain in the groin area and hips; being unable to put full pressure on the affected leg when walking
  • During a physical examination, patients often find that the affected leg bulges outward and that they are unable to move their hips freely
Diagnosing a femoral neck fracture may involve the following:
  • A review of the patient’s medical history including the circumstances of the fall; history of hip pain and injury, as well as how well the patient was able to walk before the incident
  • Performing an X-ray to diagnose the fracture   
  • If the X-ray is inconclusive, but a fracture is still suspected, additional tests including a CT scan or MRI may be required
The standard treatment involves first reducing the pain and returning strength and stability to the hips to allow for movement and walking, which, in turn, reduces the risk of possible complications.

This can be accomplished through:
  • Non-surgical treatment, which is the method commonly recommended for patients at high risk of surgical complications, those who are bedridden, or those who do not have pain 
  • Surgical treatment, which is the method commonly chosen for a quicker recovery. This can include:
    • Internal fixation – a procedure that joins and stabilizes the ends of fractured bones using rods, wires, and/or plates.
    • Unipolar/bipolar hemiarthroplasty – replacement of the hip joint with a metal prosthesis
    • Total hip replacement –  damaged bone and cartilage are removed and replaced with an artificial hip
The doctor will determine the most appropriate treatment plan based on each patient’s specific case.

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