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Foot Ankle Int. 2013 Nov;34(11):1516-20. doi: 10.1177/1071100713491730. Epub 2013 May 31.

Correlation of AO and Lauge-Hansen classification systems for ankle fractures to the mechanism of injury.

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  • 1Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA, USA.



Our aim was to assess whether the Lauge-Hansen (LH) and the Muller AO classification systems for ankle fractures radiographically correlate with in vivo injuries based on observed mechanism of injury.


Videos of potential study candidates were reviewed on Individuals were recruited for participation if the video could be classified by injury mechanism with a high likelihood of sustaining an ankle fracture. Corresponding injury radiographs were obtained. Injury mechanism was classified using the LH system as supination/external rotation (SER), supination/adduction (SAD), pronation/external rotation (PER), or pronation/abduction (PAB). Corresponding radiographs were classified by the LH system and the AO system.


Thirty injury videos with their corresponding radiographs were collected. Of the video clips reviewed, 16 had SAD mechanisms and 14 had PER mechanisms. There were 26 ankle fractures, 3 nonfractures, and 1 subtalar dislocation. Twelve fractures with SAD mechanisms had corresponding SAD fracture patterns. Five PER mechanisms had PER fracture patterns. Eight PER mechanisms had SER fracture patterns and 1 had SAD fracture pattern. When the AO classification was used, all 12 SAD type injuries had a 44A type fracture, whereas the 14 PER injuries resulted in nine 44B fractures, two 44C fractures, and three 43A fractures.


When injury video clips of ankle fractures were matched to their corresponding radiographs, the LH system was 65% (17/26) consistent in predicting fracture patterns from the deforming injury mechanism. When the AO classification system was used, consistency was 81% (21/26). The AO classification, despite its development as a purely radiographic system, correlated with in vivo injuries, as based on observed mechanism of injury, more closely than did the LH system.


Level IV, case series.


AO classification system; Lauge-Hansen classification system; YouTube; ankle fracture classification; injury videos

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