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Treatment of fractures of the femoral neck by replacement with the Thompson prosthesis

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The case histories of 361 subcapital fractures of the femoral neck in 354 patients treated by primary replacement with the cemented Thompson prosthesis were reviewed, and 156 survivors were seen at follow-up. The average age was eighty-one years. Three hundred and thirty fractures occurred in women and thirty-one in men. The antero-lateral approach to the hip was used at all operations because it allows immediate and unrestricted mobilisation after operation. It is considered that this method is the best treatment in the rehabilitation of elderly patients after high femoral neck fractures, because of its low morbidity and high success rate in returning the geriatric orthopaedic patient to independence. The results after an average of just over three years were available for 161 hips in 156 patients studied at follow-up. Of these, 132 (82 per cent) were satisfactory. Most of the unsatisfactory results were in patients under seventy-five years of age. Out of the whole group of 361 hips treated the important early complications were wound infections in seventeen hips 4-7 per cent), all of which resolved, and dislocation in seven hips (2 per cent). Forty-six patients (12-9 per cent) died during the first four weeks after operation, their average age being eighty-five. One hundred and seventy-one patients (47-4 per cent) were discharged from hospital within under four weeks of the operation. Acetabular erosion and loosening are shown to be the important later complications. Three patients had late sepsis.

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