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Salter-Harris type I fracture

Last revised by Dr Henry Knipe on 06 Jul 2022

Salter-Harris type I fractures are relatively uncommon injuries that occur in children. Salter-Harris fractures are injuries where a fracture of the metaphysis or epiphysis extends through the physis. Not all fractures that extend to the growth plate are Salter-Harris fractures.

Radiographic features

Salter-Harris type I fractures describe a fracture that is completely contained within the physis. There is no associated bone fragment.

In reality, the majority of fractures that involve the physis have at least a small fragment of metaphysis associated with them and are therefore type II injuries.

Plain radiograph
  • fracture through the physis
  • no epiphyseal or metaphyseal fracture
  • no fracture fragments
  • angulation, displacement and rotation may occur

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Cases and figures

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