A survey was undertaken to investigate the treatment of displaced intracapsular femoral neck fractures across the UK. The usual practice at 223 hospitals was recorded for two groups of patients, active and frail. Management of stereotyped fractures, in similar patients, varied between hospitals. There was also variation between specialists within some hospitals: two or more of the alternative methods of treatment were in routine use for active patients at 22% of hospitals and for frail patients at 27%. Overall, for active patients, bipolar hemiarthroplasty was undertaken at 41% of hospitals, internal fixation at 37%, unipolar hemiarthroplasty at 32% and total hip replacement at 16%. Cemented prostheses were used in 74% of arthroplasties for active patients. For frail patients, hemiarthroplasty with an Austin Moore or Thompson prostheses was undertaken at 94% of hospitals; bipolar prostheses were used at 8%; internal fixation was undertaken at 1%. Cement was used in 46% of hemiarthroplasties. These findings indicate a lack of consensus in aspects of the treatment of displaced intracapsular femoral neck fractures and are likely to reflect difficulties in determining "best practice."