Femoral neck fracture

The femoral neck is the part of the thigh bone (femur) which is near the hip. A femoral neck fracture is a fracture of the femur near the hip joint. Thus, the fracture is often also known as a hip fracture. A femoral neck fracture occurs as a result of [osteoporosis] in most cases. If osteoporosis is present, the very stable femur can already break as a result of a fall of the side of the hip. Femur fractures in patients without osteoporosis only occur on the other hand as a result of heavy force during car or ski accidents, for example.

The femoral neck is angled inwards opposite the vertical femoral shaft. During a fall, more strain is put on the femoral neck than on the femoral shaft. If a fracture occurs in osteoporotic femur, the femoral neck is almost always affected.

A femoral neck fracture typically occurs in older people if they fall on their hip. Severe pain and inability to raise the leg are indications of a femoral neck fracture. Sometimes the pain is felt more in the knee area than in the hip area. There is often swelling in the hip area as well as bruising if the soft tissue has been injured.

The circumstances of the accident (fall) and the characteristic symptoms often already suggest that there has been a femoral neck fracture. A definitive diagnosis is usually made with an x-ray.

Surgery is the preferred treatment for a femoral head fracture to stabilise the hip bones.  If the fracture is stable, conservative treatment is possible in certain cases. A femoral neck fracture should be treated quickly as it often poses a risk to the circulation of the femoral head. This can cause damage to the hip joint. Therefore, early detection and treatment of a femoral neck fracture is important. Depending on the extent and location of the femoral neck fracture, different surgical treatment options can be considered. Find out more about this in the Femoral fracture surgery section.