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INTRODUCTION:: High-energy femoral neck fractures in young patients can be devastating, with the risk of osteonecrosis, nonunion, malunion and lifelong morbidity. The aim of this study is to define the effects of patient, fracture and surgical factors on the outcome of high-energy femoral neck fractures in patients aged from 15 to 50 years. METHODS:: A retrospective review was conducted of high-energy femoral neck fractures in patients aged 15-50 managed surgically at a Level 1 Trauma Centre, using a prospectively recorded trauma database. Low energy trauma (including falls from <1 m), medical conditions adversely affecting bone density, and pathological fractures were excluded. A clinical and radiological review was performed. The primary outcome measures were the development of osteonecrosis or nonunion leading to total hip arthroplasty (THA). Secondary outcome measures included osteotomy or other surgical procedures, quality of reduction and malunion. RESULTS:: 32 patients meeting the inclusion criteria were identified between January 2008 and July 2015. The mean follow-up was 58.5 months (range 980-3,048 days). 3 patients (9.4%) required THA. No other surgical procedures were performed. None of the 29 other patients developed radiologically apparent osteonecrosis. Fracture type, displacement, anatomical reduction and fixation type were not statistically significant risk factors affecting these outcomes. For all patients, an average of 8% loss of femoral neck height and 10% femoral neck offset were seen. CONCLUSIONS:: At a mean 4.9-year follow-up, the incidence of high-energy femoral neck fractures leading to THA was 9.4%, as a consequence of osteonecrosis or nonunion. Malunion was common.

Original publication




Journal article


Hip int

Publication Date





77 - 82


Femur, hip fractures, trauma, young, Adolescent, Adult, Age Factors, Arthroplasty, Replacement, Hip, Female, Femoral Neck Fractures, Fracture Fixation, Humans, Incidence, Male, Middle Aged, Osteonecrosis, Postoperative Complications, Radiography, Retrospective Studies, Risk Factors, Treatment Outcome, Young Adult