Between April 1999 and April 2004, 3497 Birmingham hips were inserted by 89 surgeons. Fracture of the neck of the femur occurred in 50 patients, an incidence of 1.46%. Complete data were available for 45 patients in whom the incidence was 1.91% for women and 0.98% for men. The relative risk of fracture for women vs men was 1.94961 and this was statistically significant (p < 0.01). The mean time to fracture was 15.4 weeks. In women the fractures occurred at a mean of 18.5 weeks and were more likely to have been preceded by a prodromal phase of pain and limping. In men the mean time to fracture was 13.5 weeks. Significant varus placement of the femoral component, intra-operative notching of the femoral neck and technical problems were common factors in 85% of cases.





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