Background: The objectives of this study were to examine temporal trends in treatment of femoral neck fractures, factors associated with treatment, and variations in practice patterns among counties and hospitals in Ontario, Canada.
Methods: Hospital discharge data were analyzed. Cases were defined as age > 50 years with a surgically treated femoral neck fracture between 1981 and 1992 (n = 29,391).
Results: The age-adjusted and sex-adjusted proportion of patients treated with hemiarthroplasty (HA) increased from 45% in 1981 to 61% in 1992 (p < 0.0001). HA is more likely to be performed among women, older patients, and nursing home patients. Among counties there was a 38-fold variation for total hip arthroplasty (0.5-38%) and a 9-fold variation in use of HA (9-83%). The degree of variation in treatment was mainly the result of individual hospitals.
Conclusion: The wide regional variations in treatment of femoral neck fractures reflect a lack of consensus in Ontario.