Virtual Pediatric Hospital(tm) : A digital library of pediatric information

Home | About | FAQ | Reviews | Search

Virtual Pediatric Hospital: Paediapaedia: Fracture, Epiphyseal Plate (Salter Harris) Paediapaedia: Musculoskeletal Diseases

Fracture, Epiphyseal Plate (Salter Harris)

Michael P. D'Alessandro, M.D.
Peer Review Status: Internally Peer Reviewed

Clinical Presentation:
Suspected fracture.

The epiphyseal complex, including the epiphysis, physis, and metaphysis is very susceptible to injury in children because the ligamentous and capsular structures around a joint are 2-5 times stronger than the most vulnerable part of the growth plate. Approximately 10% of all fractures in kids involve the epiphyseal complex. The prognosis and rate of complications such as limb deformity and limb shortening depend on the fracture type with higher Salter Harris fracture types having a worse prognosis. The fractures are often related to athletic activity. The wrist and ankle are most commonly affected. Seventy-five percent occur between 10 - 16 years old.

Not applicable

Imaging Findings:
Salter Harris Classification of Epiphyseal Complex Fractures
Type I - fracture through the physis (widened physis)
Type II - fracture partway through the physis extending up into metaphysis
Type III - fracture partway through the physis extending down into the epiphysis
Type IV - fracture through the metaphysis, physis, and epiphysis -- can lead to angulation deformities when healing
Type V - crush injury to the physis


See References Chapter.

Section Top | Title Page

Additional pediatric resources: | Facebook iconTwitter iconRSS icon |

Follow us on Twitter @pedseducationTwitter icon and @pedsimagingTwitter icon

About Us | FAQ | Reviews | Contact Us | Search

Virtual Pediatric Hospital is curated by Donna M. D'Alessandro, M.D. and by Michael P. D'Alessandro, M.D.

Please send us comments by filling out our Comment Form.

All contents copyright © 1992-2016 Donna M. D'Alessandro, M.D. and Michael P. D'Alessandro, M.D. and the authors. All rights reserved.

"Virtual Pediatric Hospital", the Virtual Pediatric Hospital logo, and "A digital library of pediatric information" are all Trademarks of Donna M. D'Alessandro, M.D. and Michael P. D'Alessandro, M.D.

Virtual Pediatric Hospital is funded in whole by Donna M. D'Alessandro, M.D. and Michael P. D'Alessandro, M.D. Advertising is not accepted.

Your personal information remains confidential and is not sold, leased, or given to any third party be they reliable or not.

The information contained in Virtual Pediatric Hospital is not a substitute for the medical care and advice of your physician. There may be variations in treatment that your physician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.