From a series of 825 consecutive admissions with a hip fracture there were 16 cases in which the diagnosis was not made when the patient was initially seen in hospital. The reason for the delay in diagnosis was failure to correctly interpret X-rays in 10 cases and failure to X-ray the hip in three cases. The fracture was radiologically invisible in only three patients. Fifteen of the fractures were initially undisplaced, but as a consequence of the delay in diagnosis displacement occurred in 75% of subcapital fractures and all extracapsular fractures.
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