Type A: Compression injuries of the body (compressive forces)

  • Type A1: Impaction fractures
  • Type A2: Split fractures
  • Type A3: Burst fractures

Type B: Distraction injuries of the anterior and posterior elements (tensile forces)

  • Type B1: Posterior disruption predominantly ligamentous (flexion-distraction injury)
  • Type B2: Posterior disruption predominantly osseous (flexion-distraction injury)
  • Type B3: Anterior disruption through the disk (hyperextension-shear injury)

Type C: Multi-directional injuries with translation affecting the anterior and posterior elements (axial torque causing rotation injuries)

  • Type C1: Rotational wedge, split, and burst fractures
  • Type C2: Flexion subluxation with rotation
  • Type C3: Rotational shear injuries (Holdsworth slice rotation fracture)


Provide an explanation for key principles and pertinent aspects of the classification


Insert figures illustrating the classification


Provide the citation for the landmark article and recent review articles describing the classification