Fracture of head of radius - Mason classification of proximal radial fractures

The original Mason classification was devised in 1954 and comprised three types. The modified Mason classification of proximal radial fractures describes four basic types. It has value in both treatment decision and prognosis.

Type Description
Type I undisplaced or minimally displaced, minimal joint involvement
Type II bone fragments separated by at least 2mm, the fragments may be rotated or angulated
Type III comminuted fracture
Type IV comminuted fracture with elbow dislocation


1. Mason ML. Some observations on fractures of the head of the radius with a review of one hundred cases.  Br J Surg 1954;42:123-132.
2. Johnston GW. A follow-up of 100 cases of fracture of the head of the radius with review of the literature.  Ulster Med J 1962;31:51-56.
3. Broberg MA, Moorey BF. Results of treatment of fracture-dislocations of the elbow. Clin Orthop. 1987;216:109-119.

4. Baratz M, Watson AD, Imbriglia JE. Orthopaedic Surgery: The Essentials. Thieme; 1999:339
5. Matsunaga FT, Tamaoki MJ, Cordeiro EF, Uehara A, Ikawa MH, Matsumoto MH, et al. Are classifications of proximal radius fractures reproducible? BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2009 Dec 1;10(1):1–5.