Femur Fracture Pipkin Classification Method
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Femur Fracture Attorney. There are many ways to classify a fracture; however, some bones have multiple locations where fractures can occur, making classification rather difficult. This is the case with femoral head fractures, which are classified using the Pipkin classification.
Classification of Bone Fractures
Bone fractures can occur in any number of accidents, including auto accidents, and represent some of the most common traumatic injuries seen in the medical community. Examples of terms used to describe fractures are:
Transverse: This is a fracture that cuts across the length of the bone in a relatively straight line.
Oblique: This fracture cuts across the bone in a diagonal pattern.
Avulsion: If a bone has been avulsed, a small piece of the bone has broken off from the rest of it.
Comminuted: A comminuted bone has broken into multiple pieces.
These terms are important because they help to guide medical professionals when they are trying to come up with a diagnosis and treatment plan in addition to helping to grade the prognosis.
The Pipkin Classification for Femur Fractures
A femur fracture can occur in any number of locations and often requires surgery to correct. Fractures in the head of the femur (the part of the bone that inserts into the hip socket) are first imaged and are classified according to the Pipkin classification.
Type 1: A Type 1 fracture of the femoral head represents an avulsion fracture of the femoral head. The break starts in the center of the femoral head, called the fovea capitis, and avulses a small part of the bone. This fracture does not involve the weightbearing section of the femoral head.
Type 2: A Type 2 fracture is an oblique fracture across the length of the femoral head. This fracture is more severe because it involves the weightbearing portion of the femoral head.
Type 3: A Type 3 fracture is a Type 1 or Type 2 fracture that also involves the femoral neck. The femoral neck connects the head to the shaft. This fracture is dangerous because it has a high rate of avascular necrosis, a serious complication.
Type 4: A Type 4 fracture is a Type 1 or Type 2 fracture that also has an associated fracture of the acetabulum, the hip joint socket.
Importance of the Classification Process
This fracture classification is important because it guides both the treatment process and the prognosis of the patient. For example, a fracture of the weightbearing portion may require additional rehabilitation and physical therapy when starting to walk again. A fracture involving the neck or the acetabulum often has a higher rate of complications that providers should be careful to watch out for. This system is vital for ensuring that patients receive the appropriate attention from the treatment team.
Related Articles by Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyer, Ed Smith:
- Physical Therapy for a Broken Leg
- Fat Emboli After Femur Fracture
- The Importance of Imaging Studies and Femur Fractures
Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyer & Femur Fracture Attorney
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Femur Fracture Attorney. Classifying the various types of femur fractures is important because it helps to guide medical professionals in the right direction regarding treatment. People who have been involved in an accident involving any type of femur fracture should give me a call for free, friendly legal advice at (916) 921-6400. My office also has a toll-free line for those calling from outside of the Sacramento region – (800) 404-5400.
I am happy to be a Sacramento personal injury lawyer appearing in the California chapter of the Million Dollar Forum. This is a select forum made up of some of the country’s top trial attorneys. The various members of our forum have both won verdicts and reached settlements that have been valued at over $1 Million dollars.
All of my visitors should pause to take a look at some of the verdicts and settlements I have obtained for my clients.
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Image Source: Photograph [Final]: Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyer, Edward A. Smith
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