There is no fracture of any hone which has escaped an attempt at classification. Sometimes this has been done on the basis of region and pattern, sometimes through a concept of the stresses to which the bone has been subjected, and usually with an eye on some understanding of the severity of the in jury and its prognosis. Unfortunately not everyone has the same ideas regarding the relative importance of the various factors concerned, and as time progresses and knowledge expands the number of classifications that exist has been continuing to grow.
The result is that in nearly every area there is a wealth of classifications, usually with grades, degrees or numbers attached to the originator's name. This bewilders the newcomer, anil causes much confusion in those who are attempting to assess the results of various treatments, as the injuries classified by one author may not be easily compared with those described by another. There is. too, the problem of how to ascribe certain fractures which have been inconsiderate enough to adopt a pattern that does not quite lit within the classiticalion.
No surgeon is able to master the wealth of classifications outside his own specialist area, and for purposes of communication, as far as single injuries are concerned, a fracture is described mainly by its site and pattern, along the lines already detailed. In such circumstances classifications are only mentioned if they have become familiar through long usage, and in some cases classifications of this type may be archaic.
After many years' work the AO Group have evolved a classification which aims to encompass all fractures, actual or theoretical, and is of particular value for research purposes.
Was this article helpful?