Introduction to Trauma X-ray
Comminuted fractures

Key points

  • Fractures resulting in multiple fragments are called comminuted fractures

A bone injury that results in more than 2 separate bone components is known as a comminuted fracture. Some comminuted fractures have specific names such as 'butterfly fragment' or 'segmental fracture'.

Comminuted fracture example - Humerus

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Comminuted fracture example - Humerus

  • Proximal humeral shaft fracture with bone shattering due to high force injury

Butterfly fragment example - Metacarpal

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Butterfly fragment example - Metacarpal

  • Comminuted fracture resulting from 2 oblique fractures forming a 'butterfly fragment' (shape of a butterfly wing)

Segmental fracture example - Tibia and fibula

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Segmental fracture example - Tibia and fibula

  • Segments of bone have separated from both the proximal and distal portions of the tibial and fibular shafts