The following points should he noted:
1. This is not a classification of injuries: it is a classification of fractures.
2. It does not include dislocations, unless they have an associated fracture.
3. It does not differentiate between undisplaced and displaced fractures of the shafts of the long bones (but ii does so in the case of certain fractures of the bone ends).
4. It does not give any indication of the relative frequency of particular fractures.
5. The sorting of fractures (beyond the area of the bone involved) depends on the AO Group's assessment of the severity of the fracture; this they define as "the morphological complexity, ihe difficulty in treatment, and the prognosis'. In areas this may relied a preference for the use of internal fixation rather than conservative methods of treatment.
6. The classification results in an alpha-numeric code which is suitable for computer sorting, and which allows for research purposes (e.g. in assessing the results of any treatment, wherever carried out) the comparison of like with like.
7. Because of the format, it is not descriptive in a verbal sense, and is not suitable for conveying information about the nature of an individual fracture (e.g. over the telephone).
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