Eaton classification of volar plate avulsion injury

This classification was proposed by Eaton and Malerich in 1980, and presently (time of writing, August 2016) along with Keifhaber-Stern classification, is the most widely accepted classification of volar plate avulsion injuries 1

Knowledge of the orthopaedic Eaton classification is practical when reporting volar plate injury as it influences the decision on management. Treatment is dependent on the following factors:  

  • size of the fragment (<40% of the articular segment)
  • degree of impaction
  • direction of the dislocation
Eaton types
  • Eaton type I: hyperextension mechanism of injury with an avulsion of the volar plate and a longitudinal tear of the collateral ligaments; the opposing joint surface remain congruent
  • Eaton type II: dorsal dislocation of the PIP joint with avulsion of the volar plate; there is complete tear of the collateral ligament
  • Eaton type III
    • Eaton type IIIa
      • fracture dislocation with an avulsed small fragment <40% of the articular surface
      • dorsal aspect of the collateral ligament remains attached to the middle phalanx
    • Eaton type IIIb
      • fracture dislocation with fracture or impaction of the articular surface of more than 40%
Share article

Article information

rID: 47254
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Eaton classification
  • Eaton's classification

Updating… Please wait.

Alert accept

Error Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

Alert accept Thank you for updating your details.