Floating injuries : a review of the literature and proposal for a universal classification

Published online: Dec 27 2004


From UCMS and GTB Hospital, Delhi, India


It is tempting to describe any structure or body part which is not in continuity with its adjacent structures as ‘floating'. The indiscriminate use of this word has led to description of complex injury patterns, surgeries, congenital anomalies, functional deformities or even normal anatomical structures by a single vague term ‘floating'. The article stresses the importance of proper description of an injury pattern, after enlisting some of the ‘floating' entities described in the literature. When the term ‘floating' is used to describe an injury in a limb, we suggest use of the proposed universal classification system to prevent ambiguity, help in prognosticating and scientific comparison of results in such injuries.