Fracture of radius - Melone classification of distal intraarticular radial fractures

Melone classification of distal intraarticular radial fractures was published in 1984. It is based on four main parts of the radius:

  • shaft
  • radial styloid
  • dorsal medial
  • palmar medial.

The original classification had four types, this modified classification has additional fifth group of severly comminuted fractures.

Type Description
Type I undisplaced fracture with no or minimal comminution
Type II "die punch" fracture with moderate to severe displacement
  • Type IIa: reducible
  • Type IIb: irreducible
Type III fracture with spike fragment - commonly associated  with nerve or tendon injury
Type IV wide separation or rotation of the dorsal fragment and rotation of the palmar fragment
Type V explosion fracture with severe comminution, transverse split, and rotational displacement


1. Melone CP. Articular Fractures of the Distal Radius. Orthop Clin North Am 1984;15:217-236
2. Melone CP. Open Treatment for Displaced Articular Fractures of the Distal Radius. Clin Orthop 1986;202:103-111.
3. Melone CP. Distal Radius Fractures: Patterns of Articular Fragmentation. Orthop Clin North Am 1993;24:239-253.
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5. Andersen DJ, Blair WF, Stevers Jr. CM, Adams BD, El-Khouri GY, Brandser EA. Classification of distal radius fractures: An analysis of interobserver reliability and intraobserver reproducibility. The Journal of Hand Surgery. 1996 Jul;21(4):574–82
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