Schatzker classification

Schatzker classification system is one method of classifying tibial plateau fractures and splits the fracture into six types.

In the Schatzker classification, each increasing numeric fracture category indicates increasing severity, reflecting not only increased energy imparted to the bone at the time of injury but also an increasingly worse prognosis 1. The most common fracture of the tibial plateau, is type II.


This system divides tibial plateau fractures into six types:

  • Schatzker I: is a wedge-shaped pure cleavage fracture of the lateral tibial plateau, originally defined as having less than 4 mm of depression or displacement
  • Schatzker II: split and depression of the lateral tibial plateau, type I fracture with a depressed component
  • Schatzker III: pure depression of the lateral tibial plateau
    • divided into two subtypes
      • Schatzker IIIa: those with lateral depression
      • Schatzker IIIb: those with central depression
  • Schatzker IV: pure depression of the medial tibial plateau, without a fracture fragment
  • Schatzker V: involving both tibial plateau regions
  • Schatzker VI: fracture through the metadiaphysis of the tibia

History and etymology

This classification was first published by Joseph Schatzker, in 1990 4.

See also

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