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Physeal arrest of the distal tibia - type II Salter-Harris

Case contributed by Dr Domenico Nicoletti


Footballer. Game clash.

Patient Data

Age: 15 years
Gender: Female

Distal tibia fracture with displacement between the epiphysis and metaphysis (Type II Salter-Harris). There is also spiral fracture of the distal fibula. The Salter-Harris type II injury starts as a horizontal separation (like type I) but this is completed by exiting through the metaphysis, resulting in a triangular fragment which varies in size.

Postoperative control

External fixation with Kirschner wire is to stabilize the fractured bone.

Medially and centrally the tibial growth plate has started to close.

Control after removing external fixation with Kirschner wire. Distal tibial physeal growth arrest affecting the central and medial portion of the physis. Laterally distal tibia there is lamellar periosteal reaction.

Case Discussion

The complication following a physeal injury is growth plate arrest, which can be treated conservatively and operatively ( excision of the bone bridge, leg lengthening, contra and ipsilateral epiphysiodesis, corrective osteotomies).

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Case information

rID: 82410
Published: 24th Sep 2020
Last edited: 15th Nov 2020
System: Paediatrics
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included

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