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Salter-Harris Fractures

Introduction

Salter-Harris fractures are fractures that affect the growth plate in skeletally-immature patients. 

growth-plate-injuries-300x156 Salter-Harris Fractures Fractures | HB Ortho Handbook Pediatrics | HB

Salter-Harris Classification for Growth Plate Injuries

Mnemonic

There is a simple mnemonic that is often used to help remember the different types of Salter-Harris Fractures, using the letters S-A-L-T-R.

 Letter Type Key Word  Description

S

I

 Straight Across The fracture traverses through the cartilage of the physis.
A II Above The fracture is located mostly above the physis. It starts in the metaphysis and exits back out through the physis, avoiding the epiphysis completely.
L III Lower The fracture is “lower” than the physis. It starts in the epiphysis and exits out the physis, avoiding the metaphysis.
T IV Through The fracture travels “through” the physis. It actually starts in the metaphysis and crosses all the way through the physis, exiting out of the epiphysis.
R V Rammed The injury to the physis is a crush type injury, resulting in significant damage.
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