The correlation between the OTA/AO classification system and compartment syndrome in both bone forearm fractures

Thomas S. Auld, John S. Hwang, Nicholas Stekas, Peter D. Gibson, Michael S. Sirkin, Mark C. Reilly, Mark R. Adams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Objective:To evaluate the efficacy of using the Orthopaedic Trauma Association (OTA/AO) classification for both bone forearm fractures in predicting compartment syndrome.Design:Retrospective cohort.Setting:Level 1 Academic Trauma Center.Patients/Participants:One hundred fifty-one patients 18 years of age and older, with both bone forearm fractures diagnosed from 2001 to 2016 were categorized based on the OTA/AO classification. Patients with both bone fractures caused by gunshot wounds were excluded.Main Outcome Measurements:The endpoint for our study was whether forearm fasciotomies were performed based on the presence of compartment syndrome.Results:Of a total of 151 both bone forearm fractures, 15% underwent fasciotomy. Six of 80 (7.5%) grouped 22-A3, 8 of 44 (18%) grouped 22-B3, and 9 of 27 (33%) grouped 22-C underwent fasciotomies for compartment syndrome (P = 0.004). The relative risks of developing compartment syndrome for group 22-B3 versus 22-A3 was 2.42 (P = 0.08), 22-C versus 22-B3 was 1.83 (P = 0.15), and 22-C versus 22-A3 was 4.44 (P = 0.002).Conclusions:There is a significant correlation between the OTA/AO classification and the need for fasciotomies, with group C fractures representing the highest risk. Clinicians can use this information to have a higher index of suspicion for compartment syndrome based on OTA/AO classification to help minimize the risk of a missed diagnosis.Level of Evidence:Prognostic Level III. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)606-609
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Orthopaedic Trauma
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • AO classification
  • Compartment syndrome
  • Forearm fracture
  • Incidence
  • OTA classification


Dive into the research topics of 'The correlation between the OTA/AO classification system and compartment syndrome in both bone forearm fractures'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this