Revision 6 for 'Fracture description (summary approach)'

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Fracture description (summary approach)

Fracture description allows an individual to accurately determine fracture type and communicate important information to colleagues without the use of the radiograph. Practicing fracture description is important and using a systematic approach may make this process less stressful.


This summary approach suggests that you have found a fracture!

  • describe the film
    • what type of radiograph are you looking at?
    • what views have you got to look at?
  • fracture type
    • first thing to mention when describing a fracture
    • complete (transverse, oblique, spiral, comminuted)
    • incomplete (buckle, greenstick)
  • fracture location
    • what bone
    • part of the bone (epiphysis, metaphysis, diaphysis, apophysis)
    • some bones have specific named parts, e.g. neck of femur
  • fracture displacement
    • is the bone offset, or pointing in the wrong direction
  • fracture complications
    • evidence of compound fracture (through the skin)
    • does the fracture enter the joint
    • is there another fracture (e.g. in paired bones)

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