Hip fractures are a serious health problem common among elderly men and women who fall in their own homes. In 2003 there were about 345,000 hospitalizations for hip fractures (Source: National Center for Health Statistics; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; 2003 National Hospital Discharge Survey.) Only one in four patients recover completely. Hip fractures are more common in older people because of osteoporosis and because older people are more likely to fall. One in three women and one in six men who reach age 90 will fracture a hip during his or her lifetime.The upper end of the femur has large bony bumps called trochanters where powerful muscles attach. Then there is a short neck and finally a spherical head that forms the outer half of the hip joint. Most hip fractures occur just below the spherical head and are called femoral neck or subcapital hip fractures. If the fractures is through the trochanters it is called a intertrochanteric hip fracture.Femoral neck hip fractures are particularly problematic because the fracture often disrupts the blood supply to the femoral head, which forms the hip joint. Without a good blood supply, the bone cannot heal and eventually collapses and dies.Femoral neck fractures involve the narrow neck between the round head of the femur and the shaft. This fracture often disrupts the blood supply to the head of the femur.The femoral neck fractures are classified as Garden type fractures:
Type 1 is non-displaced.
Type 2 has impaction of the fracture but no displacement.
Type 3 is displaced (often rotated and angulated) but still has some contact between the two fragments.
Type 4 is completely displaced and there is no contact between the fracture fragments.