Niels Lauge-Hansen (1899-1976) was a Danish Radiologist.

Lauge-Hansen (published as Lauge N.) wrote a definitive review of ankle fractures – ‘an analytic historic survey as the basis of new experimental, roentgenologic and clinical investigations‘ 2 years before his classification publication.

Lauge-Hansen’s research was ground-breaking at its time of publication: Injury spectrum provides clinicians with high index of suspicion for easily missed additional injuries on radiographs; radiographic findings allowed surgeons to predict concurrent soft tissue injuries; and provided basis of closed fracture reduction and immobilisation in an era predation modern surgical fixation

Eponymously linked with the Lauge-Hansen classification of ankle fractures


Medical Eponyms
Lauge-Hansen classification of ankle fractures (1950)

Appreciation of ankle injury mechanism furthers understanding of likely associated ligamentous injury, implications of joint stability and management. The Lauge-Hansen classification requires three radiographic views of the ankle (anteroposterior, mortise and lateral) and is characterised with specific two-word descriptors of the injury mechanism:

  • First word: describes the position of the foot at the time of injury (supination or pronation)
  • Second word: describes the deforming force direction (abduction, adduction, or external rotation)

Lauge-Hansen’s classification can be difficult to remember and best reviewed in comparison to the simplified Danis-Weber classification. Awareness of the injury mechanism, enhances interpretation and identification of subtle Lauge-Hansen injury stages.


Recent research using up to date experimental techniques, has failed to consistently reproduce Lauge-Hansen’s initial findings, questioning the reliability of his classification system. However, the value of his classification when considering concurrent soft tissue injuries, alongside fractures, remains in high regard.

Major Publications



Eponymous terms


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BA MA (Oxon) MBChB (Edin) FACEM FFSEM. Emergency physician, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital.  Passion for rugby; medical history; medical education; and asynchronous learning #FOAMed evangelist. Co-founder and CTO of Life in the Fast lane | Eponyms | Books | Twitter |

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