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1. Aching pain in the thigh, hip or buttock in an elderly person should lead to radiological examination of the hip region. In patients who have been subjected to irradiation for pelvic neoplasms a spontaneous fracture should be strongly suspected and the patient kept under close review, even if the first radiograph is negative.

2. Patients with spontaneous fractures of the femoral neck can be satisfactorily treated by Smith-Petersen nailing even when symptoms have been present for as long as sixteen weeks and displacement for eight weeks. Osteotomy is unnecessary if adequate reduction can be obtained.

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