Ideberg classification of glenoid fossa fractures

Last revised by Arlene Campos on 12 Jan 2024

The Ideberg classification system is the most common system used to describe glenoid fossa and rim fractures 1. Glenoid fractures are uncommon fractures of the shoulder but are important to recognize as they are often associated with concomitant injuries to chest, head, brachial plexus and humerus 2.

The Ideberg classification is commonly used in research articles, but given it is a descriptive classification, it does not correlate specifically with prognosis or therapeutic intervention 3. Other glenoid fracture classifications include Euler and AO.

The classification was initially created on AP and lateral radiographs of the shoulder 4, but are now assessed on CT 5

  • type I: rim fractures

    • type Ia: anterior rim fracture         

    • type Ib: posterior rim fracture     

  • type II: fracture line through glenoid fossa exiting scapula laterally    

  • type III: fracture line through glenoid fossa exiting scapula superiorly     

  • type IV: fracture line through glenoid fossa exiting scapula medially    

  • type V: combinations 

    • type Va: combination of types II and IV    

    • type Vb: combination of types III and IV     

    • type Vc: combination of types II, III, and IV     

  • type VI: severe comminution

There are limitations with the Ideberg Classification of glenoid fossa fractures. It has low-to-moderate inter- and intra-observer reliability, as well as difficulty in its ability to classify all glenoid fracture patterns. The AO classification has been demonstrated to allow for reliable grading of glenoid fossa fractures with high inter- and intra-observer reliability in 84 patients using CT 1.

R Ideberg published the original classification in 1984 4,6 and was subsequently expanded by Goss and Mayo 5,7.

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Cases and figures

  • Case 1: type II
    Drag here to reorder.
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