1. Ashurst and Bromer's classification of ankle fractures is a useful one, but falls into the complexities of subdivision into sequential progression of severity, i.e. ‘degrees’ of fracture.
2. A similar criticism can be made of the Lauge-Hansen classification which has an added semantic disadvantage. Doubts are also cast upon the validity of the direct application of experimental results in cadaveric specimens to a clinical series.
3. A third classification, essentially a modified form of those preceding it but with both an anatomical and a functional basis is presented, in the belief that it can provide evidence of: (a) the mechanism of production and hence the achievement of reduction; and (b) the recognition of significant ligamentous damage, i.e. the recognition of major from minor, stable from unstable injuries—when used in association with radiographs taken while straining the ankle under anaesthesia.
4. An Appendix to the paper (pp. 210-211), giving a more detailed account of our revised classification, is included.
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