Long Bone Defect Classification: What It Should Be?

Leonid Solomin and Theodor Slongo


Leonid Solomin1,2* and Theodor Slongo3

1Vreden Russian Orthopedic Institute, St. Petersburg, Russia

2St. Petersburg State University, St. Petersburg, Russia

3University Children's Hospital, Bern, Switzerland

Corresponding Author:
Leonid Solomin
Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery
Vreden Russian Orthopedic Institute
St. Petersburg-195427
Tel: +79045193989
E-mail: solomin.leonid@gmail.com

Received date: May 10, 2016; Accepted date: May 11, 2016; Published date: May 17, 2016

Citation: Leonid Solomin,Theodor Slongo Long Bone Defect Classification: What It Should Be? Bone Rep Recommendations. 2016, 2:1. DOI: 10.4172/2469-6684.100016

Copyright: © 2016 Solomin L, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License,which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Visit for more related articles at Journal of Bone Research and Reports



Long bone defects; Classification


Dr. Maurice E. Muller said that classification is useful only if it considers the severity of the bone lesion and serves as a basis for treatment and for evaluation of the results. Very useful and practical Muller-AO of long-bone fractures classification was developed on this principle [1]. Unfortunately, the Developed in Ilizarov Kurgan Center classification are intended only for use of the Ilizarov method [2-4]. The other group of classifications [5-9] designed to determine the optimal option of revision arthroplasty.


To develop universal classification of long bone defects.


The principles of Muller-AO of long-bone fractures classification were used: from simple to complex, with an alphanumeric designation of a particular type of pathology.


The defects of each bone segment are divided into four types and with further subdivision into three groups and their subgroups generating a hierarchical organization in triads (Figure 1).


Figure 1: Types of long bones defects. A: Limited defects; B: Bone fragments have contact; C: Bone fragments have no contact (segmental defects, “defect-diastase”); D: Complete articular defects.

A - Limited defects (<20%)

A1 - Diaphyseal

A2 - Metaphyseal

A3 - Epyphiseal

B - Bone fragments have contact

B1 - Full contact with the anatomical shortening

B2 - Limited contact without anatomical shortening

B3 - Limited contact with anatomic shortening

C - Bone fragments have no contact (segmental defects, “defect-diastase”)

C1 - Segmental defects without shortening

C2 - Segmental defects with shortening

C3 - Subtotal defects

D - Complete articular defects

D1 - Epiphyseal

D2 - Epimethaphyseal

D3 - Epimethadiaphyseal

D4 - Amputation

Like in Muller-AO fractures classification numerical designation of bones and segments are used (Figure 2). In angular deformity true shortening (defect) should be determined after modeling deformity correction. Bone defects can be associated with soft-tissue defect, infectious process,neuro-vascular disorders, deformation of the segment, devitalisation of bone fragments, etc. In these cases additional appropriate classifications, including developed by the AO, should be used.


Figure 2: An example of the bone defect classification. a: Scheme and roentgenogram; b: Result of classification.


The proposed classification allows identifying priority treatment methods. For example, for "A" different kinds of free bone grafting, dependent on degree of pathology. For "B" free and vascularized grafting. For "C" a variety of Ilizarov techniques. For "D" arthroplasty and prosthetics. Undoubtedly, the development of methods bone defect treatment will require improving classification that has been happening with the Muller-AO fractures classification.


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