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Primary arthroplasty is better than internal fixation of displaced femoral neck fractures: a meta-analysis of 14 randomized studies with 2,289 patients

Cecilia Rogmark, Olof Johnell
Acta Orthopaedica 2006, 77 (3): 359-67
16819672

BACKGROUND: The treatment of displaced femoral neck fractures has long been debated. 14 randomized controlled studies (RCTs) comparing internal fixation with primary arthroplasty may give material for evidence-based decision making.

METHODS: Computerized databases were searched for RCTs published between 1966 and 2004. 14 RCTs containing 2,289 patients were included in a metaanalysis regarding complications, reoperations and mortality. The analysis was performed with software from the Cochrane collaboration.

RESULTS: Primary arthroplasty leads to significantly fewer major method-related hip complications and reoperations, compared to internal fixation. There was no significant difference in mortality between the two groups at 30 days and 1 year. Most of the studies found better function and less pain after primary arthroplasty.

INTERPRETATION: Primary arthroplasty should be used in most patients with displaced femoral neck fracture. The healthy, lucid individual, 70-80 years old, should be given a total hip arthroplasty. The older, impaired or institutionalized patient would benefit from a hemiarthroplasty.

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