Subtrochanteric Hip Fractures Workup

Updated: Mar 23, 2023
  • Author: Mark A Lee, MD; Chief Editor: William L Jaffe, MD  more...
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Imaging Studies

Biplanar plain radiography is the basic and essential imaging study for the diagnosis of subtrochanteric femur fractures. Full-length anteroposterior (AP) views of the femur from the hip to the knee should be obtained. A cross-table lateral view of the hip allows evaluation of the femoral neck and assessment of the extent of the fracture. An AP view of the pelvis is also required, as well as views of the ipsilateral knee, because of the frequency of associated injuries.

Computed tomography (CT) is not usually useful or necessary for surgical planning in these injuries.

When a pathologic fracture is suspected, screening studies such as technetium bone scanning or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may be indicated to rule out other sites of skeletal involvement. Screening chest radiography is also necessary to screen for possible pulmonary metastases.