Biomechanics of Femoral Neck Fractures and Implications for Fixation

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Summary:Fractures of the femoral neck can occur in young healthy individuals due to high loads occurring during motor vehicle accidents, impacts, or falls. Failure forces are lower if impacts occur sideways onto the greater trochanter as compared with vertical loading of the hip. Bone density, bone geometry, and thickness of cortical bone at the femoral neck contribute to its mechanical strength. Femoral neck fractures in young adults require accurate reduction and stable internal fixation. The available techniques for fracture fixation at the femoral neck (cannulated screws, hip screw systems, proximal femur plates, and cephallomedullary nails) are reviewed with respect to their competence to provide biomechanical stability. Mechanically unstable fractures require a load-bearing implant, such as hip screws, with antirotational screws or intramedullary nails. Subcapital or transcervical fracture patterns and noncomminuted fractures enable load sharing and can be securely fixed with cannulated screws or solitary hip screw systems without compromising fixation stability.

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