The radial fracture may be segmental or multifragmentary, the ulna may be intact or injured with a simple fracture. In the latter case, the fractures are classified independently according to the morphology of each fracture.
Multifragmentary fractures are the result of higher energy trauma, such as motor vehicle accidents, falls from heights, high velocity gunshot injuries, etc. Due to the injury of the interosseous membrane and often the lesions of the muscles, tendons, and skin these are considered serious injuries.
Segmental radial fracture
Segmental fractures of the radius are classified as AO/OTA 2R2C2.
They may be associated with a dislocation of the distal radioulnar joint (DRUJ), i.e., a Galeazzi injury. This is indicated with the qualifier (g). If the injury illustrated were associated with dislocation of the DRUJ, it would be 2R2C2(g).
Shortening at the radial fracture in combination with an intact ulna and a torn interosseous membrane, may also result in distal axial migration of the ulnar head at the distal radioulnar joint (DRUJ).