Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Salter-Harris Pediatric Fracture Classification

Fractures in the pediatric population differ from typical fractures due to the possibility of physis (growth plate) involvement. If the physis is fractured, it could lead to growth arrest in that bone. The Salter-Harris classification describes the 5 classes of fractures, with the higher classes being more severe in nature and more likely to cause growth arrest. To remember the Salter-Harris Pediatric Fracture Classification, just remember the name minus the 'e': SALTR

SStraight AcrossType I: Involves physis only
AAboveType II: Fracture involving physis and metaphysis
LLowerType III: Fracture involving physis and epiphysis
TThroughType IV: Fracture involving all 3: physis, metaphysis, epiphysis
RRammedType V: Crush injury of physis

There are 4 more types in the full classification, but these five are most common. Of these five types, Type II is by far the most common (approximately 80%). 

Salter-Harris Fracture Types
Diagram of Salter-Harris Fractures
Source: Radiographics