Authors of section

Authors

Florian Gebhard, Phil Kregor, Chris Oliver, Markku T Nousiainen

Executive Editor

Chris Colton, Richard Buckley

Open all credits

33A2   Extraarticular fracture, simple

General considerations

Simple extraarticular fractures are characterized by a single circumferential disruption of the diaphysis, this may be oblique, spiral or transverse.

Careful inspection of radiographs should be undertaken to ensure that intraarticular extensions are not missed. Traction radiographs, oblique radiographs, or a CT scan may help to elucidate occult articular extensions. Surgeons should always be aware that it may not be until during surgery that an occult intraarticular extension is discovered and that they may need to deal with such a fracture by reducing and fixing the articular surface using a lag screw technique.

33A2.1 Spiral

These fractures can result from relatively low energy, twisting forces to distal femur. They are often seen in osteoporotic, elderly patients.

33A2.1 Spiral

33A2.2 Oblique

These fractures can result from relatively low energy, twisting forces to distal femur. They are often seen in osteoporotic, elderly patients.

33A2.2 Oblique

33A2.3 Transverse

These fractures can result from higher energy injuries in younger patients.

33A2.3 Transverse

X-ray by courtesy of Spital Davos, Switzerland, Dr C Ryf and Dr A Leumann.

33A2.3 Transverse X-ray