Salter-Harris classification

Case contributed by Leonardo Lustosa

Illustration of the Salter-Harris classification of physeal fractures.

Case Discussion

Salter-Harris classification is used to describe physeal fractures. The classification can be remembered using the SALTR mnemonic:

  • S: slipped (type I)
  • A: above or away from joint (type II)
  • L: lower (type III)
  • T: through or transverse or together (type IV)
  • R: rammed or ruined (type V)

Type V fractures are oftentimes occult on initial radiographs. They are usually diagnosed late during follow-up when there is a bone deformity or growth arrest.

In the illustration, the metaphysis is drawn above the epiphysis so the SALTR mnemonic can be properly used.

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