Fracture of distal radius - types by Frykman

The Frykman classification divides distal radius fractures in eight types. It considers involvement of the radiocarpal and radioulnar joints as well as fracture of the ulnar styloid process. Basically it contains four types (odd numbers) and four related subtypes (even numbers) with fracture of the ulnar styloid process. However, its prognostic value was disputed.

Type Radius fracture Fracture of ulnar styloid process Radiocarpal joint Radioulnar joint Description
I Extra-articular no no no transverse metaphyseal fracture - includes Colles and Smith fracture
II Extra-articular yes no no type II + fracture of ulnar styloid process
III Intra-articular no yes no fracture involves radiocarpal joint - includes Barton fracture and reverse Barton fracture
IV Intra-articular yes yes no type III + fracture of ulnar styloid process
V Intra-articular no no yes transverse fracture that involves distal radioulnar joint
VI Intra-articular yes no yes type V + fracture of ulnar styloid process
VII Intra-articular no yes yes comminuted fracture that involves both radiocarpal and radioulnar joint
VIII Intra-articular yes yes yes type VII + fracture of ulnar styloid process


1. Imhof H, Pope TL. Musculoskeletal Imaging: A Concise Multimodality Approach. Thieme; 2001.
2. Flinkkilä T, Raatikainen T, Hämäläinen M. AO and Frykman’s classifications of Colles’ fracture. No prognostic value in 652 patients evaluated after 5 years. Acta Orthop Scand. 1998 Feb;69(1):77–81