What is a fracture neck of femur?

A diagram showing hips A fractured neck of femur (broken hip) is a serious injury, especially in older people.  It is likely to be life changing and for some people life threatening.  It occurs when the top part of the femur (leg bone) is broken, just below the ball and socket joint.

There are two main types of hip fracture, intracapsular and extracapsular.

Intracapsular Fracture 

In this injury the ball on the top of the femur has broken off at its junction with the neck of the upper thigh bone, within the hip joint.

Occasionally, it is possible to re-attach the ball, but it is usually removed and replaced with half a hip replacement (called a hip hemiarthroplasty) or a total hip replacement, if appropriate.

Extracapsular Fracture

This break is further down the femur, outside the hip joint and is fixed using metal work. The surgeon will explain which type of fracture you have. 

Types of Hip Fracture

Image of an intracapsular hip fracture

An intracapsular fracture

Image of an extracapsular fracture

An extracapsular fracture


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