The greatest improvement in the treatment of hip fractures was the change from recumbency enforced by sand bags, spicas, or traction to mobilization care. This advance was made possible primarily by the development of internal fixation devices. Refinement of these devices and of surgical techniques has continued because problems and complications associated with treatment still remain. The articles in this symposium deal with current thinking on the treatment of fractures about the hip and how we may continue to improve our results.
The major residual problems are found in two general areas. (1) Medical complications: The age and general medical condition of patients suffering from hip fractures predispose them to complications of recumbency such as thromboembolic disease, urinary tract infections, pneumonia, senile psychosis, and decubitus ulcers. (2) Technical complications: The forces acting about fractures in the region of the hip tend to produce varus at the fracture site. These forces