Treatment of femoral neck fractures in young adults
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Femoral neck fractures in physiologically young adults, which often result from high-energy trauma, are less common than intracapsular femoral neck fractures in elderly patients. They are associated with higher incidences of femoral head osteonecrosis and nonunion. Understanding the multiple factors that play a significant role in preventing these complications will contribute to a good outcome. Although achieving an anatomic reduction and stable internal fixation are imperative, other treatment variables, such as time to surgery, the role of capsulotomy, and the method of fixation remain debatable. Open reduction and internal fixation through a Watson-Jones exposure is the recommended approach. Definitive fixation can be accomplished with three cannulated or noncannulated cancellous screws. Capsulotomy in femoral neck fractures remains a controversial issue, and the practice varies by institution, region, and country. The timing of the open reduction and internal fixation is controversial. Until conclusive data are available through prospective, controlled studies, performing a capsulotomy followed by open reduction and internal fixation on an urgent basis is recommended. The goals of treating femoral neck fractures should include early diagnosis, early surgery, anatomic reduction, capsular decompression, and stable internal fixation.