Executive Editor: Joseph Schatzker, Peter Trafton

Authors: Ernst Raaymakers, Inger Schipper, Rogier Simmermacher, Chris van der Werken

Proximal femur

back to skeleton


Supine position (fracture table)

Supine positioning

The patient is positioned supine on the fracture table. The ipsilateral arm is elevated in a sling while the contralateral uninjured leg is placed on a leg holder. This position is well suited for excellent true AP and cross-table lateral x-rays.

Note: In impacted subcapital neck fractures it is important to transfer the patient with great care from bed to operation table in order to avoid disimpaction of the fracture. Do not apply traction! In the non-impacted fracture types, this does not apply.


Image intensification

An image intensifier is required for reduction on the traction table. With the patient and fluoroscope properly positioned, obtain AP and lateral images.

Closed reduction

For undisplaced fractures, the surgeon can proceed with skin preparation and draping, and then on to exposure for fixation. If the fracture is displaced, closed reduction should be carried out at this point. If it is unsuccessful, percutaneous manipulation or formal open reduction will be necessary and the incision must be planned appropriately.

v2.0 2010-11-14