Femoral Neck Fracture Follow-up

Updated: Jan 19, 2016
  • Author: Gerard A Malanga, MD; Chief Editor: Sherwin SW Ho, MD  more...
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Follow-up

Return to Play

Return-to-play criteria in patients following femoral neck fractures require the athlete to have an absence of signs or symptoms of the original injury, full range of motion, normal strength and flexibility, and normal sport-specific mechanics. Athletes must be aware of their own limitations, which is particularly important for the individual gradually returning to a competitive level of activity after injury. [25]

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Complications

Complications include recurrent stress fractures.

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Prevention

Patient education is an important factor in the prevention of stress fractures. Female athletes should decrease their risk of recurrent fractures by maintaining adequate muscle mass and bone density.

Maintaining proper flexibility is also thought to play a significant role in the prevention of sports-related injuries. Additionally, improvement in aerobic fitness can increase blood flow and oxygenation to all tissues, including the muscles and bones, and it would be a reasonable addition to any rehabilitation and prevention program. Seasonal athletes should be encouraged to cross-train all year or at least undergo preconditioning before participating in their particular sport.

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Prognosis

Depending on the nature of the fracture, the athlete may or may not return to premorbid functioning. A displaced stress fracture of the femoral neck may end the career of an elite athlete even if correctly treated. Early diagnosis and treatment may prevent displacement of the fracture and thus improve the prognosis.

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Education

The patient with a femoral neck fracture should have a good understanding of his or her diagnosis and the benefits and risks of treatment. Completing education throughout the rehabilitation process is very important for patients to obtain the most optimal results and to possibly to return to their previous level of activity or specific sport.

Patients should take an active role in their care and understand what is necessary for proper healing, in addition to being instructed in a home exercise program for regaining their strength and range of motion of the affected lower extremity. Patient education is crucial to the prevention of recurrent neck stress fractures.

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