Pathological fracture risk (Harrington criteria)

Dr Daniel J Bell and Dr Henry Knipe et al.

Harrington criteria can be used to predict which long bone skeletal metastases are at high risk of pathological fracture and should undergo prophylactic internal fixation. It preceded the Mirels classification for impending pathological fracture but has not been validated and its use is debated.


  • >50% cortical bone destruction
  • lesion >2.5 cm in size
  • pathological avulsion fracture of the lesser trochanter
  • functional pain after radiation therapy​
Bone tumours

The differential diagnosis for bone tumors is dependent on the age of the patient, with a very different set of differentials for the pediatric patient.

Article information

rID: 40746
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Harrington's criteria
  • Pathological fracture risk: Harrington's criteria
  • Harrington's criteria of pathological fracture risk

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