Femoral neck fracture following hardware removal

Orthopedics. 2012 Jan 16;35(1):e83-7. doi: 10.3928/01477447-20111122-34.


It is uncommon for femoral neck fractures to occur after proximal femoral hardware removal because age, osteoporosis, and technical error are often noted as the causes for this type of fracture. However, excessive alcohol consumption and failure to comply with protected weight bearing for 6 weeks increases the risk of femoral neck fractures.This article describes a case of a 57-year-old man with a high-energy ipsilateral inter-trochanteric hip fracture, comminuted distal third femoral shaft fracture, and displaced lateral tibial plateau fracture. Cephalomedullary fixation was used to fix the ipsilateral femur fractures after medical stabilization and evaluation of the patient. The patient healed clinically and radiographically at 6 months. Despite conservative treatment for painful proximal hardware, elective hip screw removal was performed 22.5 months after injury. Seven weeks later, he sustained a nontraumatic femoral neck fracture.In this case, it is unlikely that the femoral neck fracture occurred as a result of hardware removal. We assumed that, in addition to the patient's alcohol abuse and tobacco use, stress fractures may have attributed to the femoral neck fracture. We recommend using a shorter hip screw to minimize hardware prominence or possibly off-label use of an injectable bone filler, such as calcium phosphate cement.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Bone Screws / adverse effects*
  • Device Removal / adverse effects*
  • Femoral Neck Fractures / etiology*
  • Femoral Neck Fractures / surgery*
  • Fracture Fixation, Internal / adverse effects*
  • Fracture Fixation, Internal / instrumentation*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Treatment Failure