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Of 622 intertrochanteric fractures, 57% were stable (Types I and II). Twenty-eight per cent were Type III, and 15% were Type IV (the unstable types). The 150-degree telescoping Massie nail proved superior to the fixed 135-degree Jewett nail (particularly for unstable fractures) because it allowed a controlled impaction of the fracture fragments to a stable position. In about one-third of the fractures, some medial displacement occurred. With anatomical reduction and the use of the Massie or ASIF nails, we achieved a decrease in the morbidity and mortality and 96% satisfactory results. Our prospective study was compared with a retrospective study in which other devices were used. Early ambulation and weight-bearing also was a major contributing factor to the improved results in the prospective study. Intertrochanteric hip fractures that are unstable can be fixed with a collapsible nail, and that treatment appears to give as good or better results than the displacement method of Dimon and Hughston or Sarmiento.