Options for the treatment of subcapital femoral neck fractures basically fall into two categories: internal fixation or arthroplasty (either hemiarthroplasty or total hip arthroplasty). Historically, the treatment option has been driven by a diagnosis-related approach (non-displaced neck fractures versus displaced neck fractures). More recently, the traditional paradigm has changed. Instead of a diagnosis-related approach, it has become more of a patient-related approach. Treatment options take in to consideration the patient’s age, functional demands, and individual risk profile. A simple algorithm can be helpful in terms of directing the treatment. Non-displaced fractures, regardless of age of the patient, should be treated with closed reduction and internal fixation. For displaced femoral neck fractures, the treatment differs depending on the age of the patient. The younger patient should be treated with urgent ORIF with the goal of an anatomic reduction. For displaced femoral neck fractures in the elderly, cognitive function should be determined. For those who are cognitively functioning, total hip arthroplasty appears to be the best option. In the cognitively dysfunctional, a bipolar hemiarthroplasty or a total hip arthroplasty with use of larger heads (32 mm or 36 mm) and/or constrained sockets are a viable option.


  • The author or one or more of the authors have received or will receive benefits for personal or professional use from a commercial party related directly or indirectly to the subject of this article.

    This paper is based on a study which was presented at the Winter 2011 Current Concepts in Joint Replacement meeting in Orlando, Florida, 7th – 10th December.

  • Received August 12, 2012.
  • Accepted August 12, 2012.
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