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Fracture Nomenclature & Description

Standardized fracture descriptors/nomenclature are displayed below.

Other nomenclature terms include linear, longitudinal, and intra-articular. Remember to evaluate the soft tissue! Air in the soft tissue can help diagnose joint penetration or necrotizing infections!.  Some occult fractures (i.e. radial head fractures) are diagnosed by soft tissue abnormalities (pathologic fat pads).  Check for alignment. Some fractures (i.e. displaced pediatric supracondylar fracture through the growth plate, SCFE) are diagnosed by loss of normal alignment.


fracture description


A: Transverse                         

B: Oblique                             

C: Spiral

D: Segmental

E: Avulsed

F: Comminuted

G: Impacted