Introduction to Trauma X-ray Fracture displacement
Describe fracture displacement in terms of the abnormal position of the distal fragment in relation to the proximal bone
Displacement of fractures is defined in terms of the abnormal position of the distal fracture fragment in relation to the proximal bone. Types of fracture displacement include - angulation, rotation, change of bone length, and loss of alignment.
The severity and nature of displacement are key factors when considering fracture management.
Loss of alignment - 'displacement'
The term 'displacement' is often used as a specific term to describe loss of bone alignment along its long axis. Loss of alignment, or displacement, is usually accompanied by some degree of angulation, rotation or change in bone length.
Proximal migration of the distal fracture component results in shortening of the overall bone length. An oblique fracture is more readily shortened than a transverse fracture, which would need to be fully 'off-ended' before it can shorten.