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Femoral Neck Fractures
Updated: Oct 9 2017

Femoral Neck Fracture ORIF with Dynamic Hip Screw

Preoperative Patient Care
Operative Techniques

Preoperative Plan


Template intramedullary nail and cephalomedullary screws

  • measure the size of the hip screw


Surgical walkthrough

  • resident can describe key steps of the operation verbally to attending prior to beginning of case.
  • list potential complications and steps to avoid them

Room Preparation


Surgical instrumentation

  • DHS system


Room setup and equipment

  • radiolucent fracture table (Jackson fracture)
  • c-arm fluoroscopy


Patient positioning

  • make sure patient has Foley urinary catheter in place
  • patient supine with feet padded with webril and placed firmly in fracture table boots if contralateral leg dropped down, if raising contralateral leg up 90° use thigh holder
  • padded post deep into groin, move genitals and Foley catheter out of the way
  • ipsilateral arm on stack of blankets over chest and taped down, contralateral arm on arm board
  • prep and drape entire leg up to iliac crest to make sure adequate working area
  • c-arm from contralateral side at 45° towards hip
  • take initial fluoro AP/Lat of hip to examine femoral neck
  • mark position of C-arm to ensure proper positioning during remainder of case (~15° tilt for correct AP xray of hip)

Lateral Approach to the Hip


Mark and make the incision

  • make straight lateral incision two finger breadths below the vastus ridge to a point 5-7 cm distally


Dissect down to the IT band

  • perform subperiosteal dissection to sweep the subcutaneous tissue from either side of the IT band


Incise the fascia lata

  • make an incision in line with the fascia lata


Place retractors

  • place Charnley retractor deep to the IT band
  • use blunt dissection between the vastus lateralis and the IT band to remove the adhesions


Retract the vastus lateralis anteriorly


Expose the bone

  • elevate the posterior portion of the vastus lateralis off to expose bone
  • use a periosteal elevator too bluntly split the posterior 20% of the vastus directly down to bone, and then elevate it off the bone


Place Benet retractors

  • insert 2 large Bennet retractors over the anterior edge of the femur, and rest the retractor handles underneath the previously applied Charnely retractor
  • use a periosteal elevator to strip the remaining tissue from the lateral aspect of the femur

Fracture Reduction and Guidepin Placement


Reduce the fracture


Determine the degree of anteversion

  • determine the amount of anteversion by placing the DHS/DCS guide pin anteriorly along the femoral neck with the use of the appropriate DHS angle guide


Place the pin

  • gently hammer the pin into the femoral head
  • this anteversion pin will later allow the correct placement of the central guide pin in the center of the femoral head


Align the DHS angle guide

  • align the appropriate DHS angle guide along the axis of the femoral shaft


Place the DHS angle guide on the femur

  • point the guide tube toward the center of the femoral head


Place the guidepin

  • it is recommended to predrill the lateral cortex with a 2.0 mm drill bit due to the density of the bone
  • insert a DHS/DCS guide pin through the appropriate DHS angle guide
  • this should be parallel to the anteversion pin and directed toward the center of the femoral head
  • this point of introduction will vary with the barrel angle
  • when the 135 degree barrel angle is used, enter the guide pin through the proximal femur approximately 2.5 cm distal to the vastus ridge

Confirm Placement of the Guidepin and Insertion of Depth Measurement


Confirm the placement of the guidepin

  • use image intensification to confirm the placement of the DHS/DCS guide pin under image intensification
  • the pin must lie along the axis of the femoral neck in both the AP and lateral views and parallel to the anteversion pin


Remove the anteversion pin


Check guidepin insertion depth

  • slide the direct measuring device over the guide pin to determine guide pin insertion depth
  • the calibration on the device provides a direct reading
  • calculate the reaming depth, tapping depth and lag screw length
  • subtract 10 mm from the reading


Assemble the appropriate DHS triple reamer




Set and place the reamer

  • set the reamer to the correct depth
  • insert the DHS triple reamer into the power drive using the large quick coupling attachment
  • slide the reamer over the guide pin to simultaneously drill for the plate/barrel junction to the preset depth
  • when reaming into the dense bone, continuously irrigate the DHS triple reamer to prevent thermal necrosis
  • if needed tap to the predetermined depth using the Tap Assembly
  • tapping depth can be seen through the window in the short centering sleeve

Lag Screw Placement


Assemble the lag screw insertion assembly


Place the assembly

  • slide the assembly over the guide pin and into the reamed hole
  • seat the long centering sleeve in the hole to the center and stabilize the assembly


Insert the lag screw

  • insert the lag screw by turning the handle clockwise until the 0 mark on the assembly aligns with the lateral cortex
  • the threaded tip of the lag screw should lie 10 mm from the medial cortex
  • the lag screw may be inserted an additional 5 mm in porotic bone for increased holding power


Remove the handle

  • before removing the assembly, align the handle so it is in the same plane as the femoral shaft
  • this allows proper placement of the DHS plate onto the lag screw

DHS Plate Placement


Place the DHS plate

  • remove the DHS wrench and long centering sleeve
  • slide the appropriate DHS plate onto the guide shaft /lag screw assembly
  • loosen and remove the coupling screw and guide shaft


Remove the guidepin

  • use the power drive in reverse with the Jacobs chuck attachment to withdraw the guide pin


Place the DHS impactor

  • gently seat the plate with the DHS impactor
  • the vastus ridge may be chiseled to further seat the plate on the bone


Fix the plate to the bone

  • fix the DHS plate to the femur with 4.5 mm cortex screws using AO ASIF standard screw insertion technique
  • for further intraoperative compression of the trochanteric fracture, the DHS compression screw may be inserted into the lag screw

Wound Closure


Irrigation and hemostasis

  • flush out nail insertion site, lag screw, and interlocking screw sites with saline bulb irrigation
  • cauterize peripheral bleeding vessels


Close the deep fascia

  • close fascia lata and IT band with 0-vicryl


Close the superficial layers

  • subcutaneous and skin closure with 2-0 vicryl and staples


Soft incision dressings over hip, proximal and distal femur

Postoperative Patient Care
Private Note

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