A retrospective review of casenotes with patient review at 3 years was carried out of 405 patients who had surgery for fracture of the femoral neck (including the trochanteric region). The operative management consisted of either internal fixation (61%), hemiarthroplasty (38%), or total arthroplasty (1%). Medical complications developed in 30% of patients; surgical complications developed in 14%. The mortality rate was greater for the first 9 months after operation, but thereafter approached the rate found in the general population (matched for age and sex). Followup 3 years postoperatively recorded 50% of patients still alive. Factors associated with death within the first postoperative year included increasing age, male sex, and the presence of dementia or congestive cardiac failure. Of the survivors, 55% described unlimited range of mobility but 32% reported only poor mobility (progressive dementia being the most common cause). Factors associated with poor mobility were increasing age, female sex, placement in an institution, and the presence of dementia or cerebrovascular insufficiency. Transfer to the specialist rehabilitation ward postoperatively was associated with significantly improved survival and mobility.