Fracture of olecranon - Colton classification

Colton classification was the first classification of olecranon fractures. It divides them according to displacement of fragments into two types. Displaced fractures are further divided into four subtypes.

Type Description
Undisplaced and stable displacement <2mm, displacement does not increase with elbow flexion
Displaced A) avulsion fracture
B) oblique or transverse fracture
C) comminuted fracture
D) fracture with dislocation in the elbow joint


1. Colton CL. Fractures of the olecranon in adults: classification and management. Injury. 1973;5:121-129.
Saunders, 1993, pp 405–428.
2. Newman SDS, Mauffrey C, Krikler S. Olecranon fractures. Injury. 2009 Jun;40(6):575–81.
3. Veillette CJH, Steinmann SP. Olecranon Fractures. Orthopedic Clinics of North America. 2008 Apr;39(2):229–36.