Delbet classification

Last revised by Calum Worsley on 11 Aug 2023

The Delbet classification helps predict the risk of avascular necrosis of the femoral head in neck of femur fractures, as well as determine operative vs non-operative management 1

Classification

  • type I: trans-epiphyseal separation

    • fracture through proximal femoral physis, representing Salter-Harris type I fractures of the proximal femur (<10%)

      • IA: without dislocation

      • IB: with dislocation 

  • type II: transcervical fracture

    • fracture extending through mid-portion of the femoral neck

    • most common type of pediatric hip fracture (40-50%)

  • type III: basicervical fracture

    • fracture though base of the femoral neck (25-35%)

  • type IV: intertrochanteric fracture

    • between the greater and lesser trochanters (6-15%)

    • this type of fracture has the best outcome

History and etymology

Pierre Delbet was a French surgeon who operated on neck of femur fractures 2. He classified these fractures into four types in adults, which is now known as Delbet's classification of fractures of proximal femur 3. This was later adopted by Collona for fractures of the femoral neck in children without changes. He used it to determine treatment and prognosis of hip fracture in children 4.

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Cases and figures

  • Pediatric neck of femur fracture
    Drag here to reorder.
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