Between 1973 and 1983, 27 patients with acute femoral neck fractures were treated at the UCLA Medical Center with total hip arthroplasty. These cases were selected on the basis of age, high activity level, and degenerative changes in the acetabular cartilage. The average age was 72 years. There were 19 women and eight men. The average follow-up period was 3.8 years with a range of one to ten years. Methods used included analysis of clinical data, roentgenograms, final pain ratings, walking ratings, and activity levels using the UCLA rating system. Pain relief and overall functional results were better than that of most series of acute femoral neck fractures treated with hemiarthroplasty and similar to that of total hip arthroplasty series. The complication rate was slightly less than both authors' elective total hip series, and considerably less than most hemiarthroplasty series. Complications included a superficial wound infection, a urinary tract infection, and a perforated colon diverticulum. Four patients died within one year from causes unrelated to the hip arthroplasty. There were no deep infections, dislocations, or reoperations. Total hip arthroplasty in selective cases of acute femoral neck fractures can give more consistent pain relief and better functional results than hemiarthroplasty, without an increase in complications.
From the Division of Orthopaedics, UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles, California.