Butterfly fragment (fracture)

Dr Craig Hacking et al.

Butterfly fragments are large, triangular fracture fragments seen commonly in comminuted long bone fractures. The term is commonly used in orthopedic surgery, and results from two oblique fracture lines meeting to create a large triangular or wedge-shaped fragment located between the proximal and distal fracture fragments, and resembles a butterfly.

It is often displaced away from the axis of the long bone and may need a separate screw or plate if the fracture is treated with open reduction - internal fixation (ORIF).

Inspired signs
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Article information

rID: 41627
Section: Gamuts
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Butterfly fragments
  • Butterfly bony fragment
  • Butterfly bone fragment
  • Butterfly bone fragments
  • Butterfly bony fragments

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Cases and figures

  • Figure 1: butterfly segment
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  • Case 1: tibial butterfly fragment
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  • Case 2: humeral butterfly fragment
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  • Case 3: distal humeral fracture with a butterfly fragment
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  • Case 4
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  • Case 5: ulnar butterfly fragment
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