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Editorial

OTA Fracture Classification

Marsh, J L MD

Author Information
Journal of Orthopaedic Trauma: September 2009 - Volume 23 - Issue 8 - p 551
doi: 10.1097/BOT.0b013e3181ad5e92
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The revised OTA Fracture Classification was published as a compendium of the Journal of Orthopaedic Trauma (JOT) in November 2007. It has also been posted to the OTA website. The OTA Classification, Outcomes and Database Committee (J. L. Marsh, D. Lundy, D. Dirschl, T. DeCoster, G. DeSilva, C. Jones, J. Agel, and J. Kellam ex officio) suggests that the classification be utilized and cited in fracture-related publications. Among other 2007 modifications and improvements, the OTA classification was reconciled with the AO classification and there is now 1 internationally recognized classification with consistent alphanumeric codes.

It is over a year since the compendium was republished and now is an appropriate time to routinely use the revised OTA classification especially in the JOT. Our review of the three 2009 issues of JOT revealed only 4 fracture-related articles that cited the OTA classification, 3 of which used the old citation. In some cases, the classification was used without a citation. This practice can and should be improved. When other classifications or eponyms are considered appropriate, they can be reported in addition to the OTA classification.

Utilizing the terminology in the OTA classification as well as the general designation of fracture categories (bone segments, types, and even groups) in JOT article titles and methods would enhance the orthopaedic trauma literature by providing more consistency of terminology and designation of fracture types. This is especially important for computer searches where exact consistent terminology is essential. Better clarity of communication will improve fracture research and eventually patient care. The 2007 JOT terminology and citation is appropriate for the majority of fracture-related articles. If this practice became routine in the JOT, it would be easier to convince editors of other journals to encourage the use of this unified terminology.

The committee feels it would be appropriate for authors of submissions to the JOT to utilize the OTA classification and terminology in their research and literature reviews and reference the 2007 compendium as cited below**.

J. L. Marsh, MD

OTA Classification and Outcomes Committee

Compendium citation: Fracture and Dislocation Classification Compendium - 2007: Orthopaedic Trauma Association Classification, Database and Outcomes Committee. J Orthop Trauma. 2007;21 Supplement 10 pp: S1-S163.

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.