Controversy surrounds the selection of the proper internal fixation device for treatment of ipsilateral fractures of the femoral neck and shaft. The purpose of this study was to review a large consecutive series of patients to learn more about the efficacy of various internal fixation strategies in maintaining an excellent reduction of both fractures.

Retrospective multicenter.

Two level 1 trauma centers.

Between 1989 and 2006, 40 consecutive patients underwent internal fixation of an ipsilateral femoral neck and shaft fracture at 2 level 1 trauma centers. Thirty-seven of 40 patients (95%) with a mean age of 38 years (range, 18-73 years) had sufficient radiographs to assess accuracy of fracture reduction.

Patients with displaced femoral neck fractures were typically treated with 2 separate devices and underwent formal open reduction of the femoral neck. Patients with nondisplaced neck fractures were treated with closed reduction and fixation with either 1 or 2 devices based on surgeon preference. The femoral neck fractures were displaced in 21 patients and nondisplaced in 16 patients. Nine fractures were addressed with a single implant and 28 with 2 separate devices.

Radiographs were reviewed to evaluate the quality of reduction of both fractures. Clinical follow-up of 12 months or greater was available on 16 patients with a mean of 34.4 months (range, 12-112 months).

Thirty-six of 37 patients (97%) obtained or maintained excellent femoral neck reductions. The only poor neck reduction occurred in the case of a displaced femoral neck-shaft fracture treated with a single cephalomedullary implant. Thirty-five excellent (95%) and 2 poor shaft reductions were obtained. Both shaft malreductions occurred in comminuted shaft fracture patterns in which a single cephalomedullary device was used for both fractures. Performing internal fixation of both fractures with a single cephalomedullary device led to a significantly higher rate of fracture malreduction of one of the fractures (3 of 9) as compared with a 2-device strategy (0 of 28) (P = 0.01).

Open reduction and internal fixation of a displaced femoral neck fracture followed by retrograde nailing of the femoral shaft allowed accurate reduction and uneventful union of both fractures in most patients. The use of a cephalomedullary device to address both fractures simultaneously led to a significantly higher rate of malreduction of one of the fractures.