MedSchool: Ace Your OSCEsThe Medical Company
GET - On the App Store
Ortho X-Ray

Salter-Harris Classification



  • The Salter-Harris classification is a system for classifying fractures involving the growth plate. Such fractures have the potential of interrupting the proliferative zone, halting bone growth; higher grade fractures are at higher risk.
    • Classification

    • Straight through - fracture directly across the growth plate, not involving surrounding boneGood prognosis
    • Above - fracture across the growth plate and up through the metaphysis (most common)Good prognosis
    • Lower - fracture across the growth plate and down through the epiphysisPoor prognosis - interruption of proliferative zone
    • Transverse - fracture directly through the metaphysis, growth plate and epiphysisPoor prognosis - interruption of proliferative zone
    • Ruined / rammed - direct compression of the growth plateWorst prognosis
Want more info like this?
  • Your electronic clinical medicine handbook
  • Guides to help pass your exams
  • Tools every medical student needs
  • Quick diagrams to have the answers, fast
  • Quizzes to test your knowledge
Sign Up Now


 Armstrong A. Simple Elbow Dislocation. Hand clinics. 2015;31:521-531. Brown JH, DeLuca SA. Growth plate injuries: Salter-Harris classification. American family physician. 1992;46:1180. Clark TWI, Janzen DL, Logan PM, Ho K, Connell DG. Improving the detection of radiographically occult ankle fractures: Positive predictive value of an ankle joint effusion.Clinical Radiology. 1996;51:632-636. Eisenberg RL. Bubbly lesions of bone. AJR. American journal of roentgenology. 2009;193:W79.
Fitzpatrick LA. Secondary causes of osteoporosis. Mayo Clinic proceedings. 2002;77:453-468.
 Foulk DM, Mullis BH. Hip Dislocation: Evaluation and Management. Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. 2010;18:199. Goost H, Wimmer MD, Barg A, Kabir K, Valderrabano V, Burger C. Fractures of the ankle joint: investigation and treatment options. Deutsches Ärzteblatt international. 2014;111:377. Hellinger D, Swagerty J, Daniel L. Radiographic Assessment of Osteoarthritis. American Family Physician. 2001;64:279. Hobbs DL. Fat pad signs in elbow trauma. Radiologic technology. 2005; 77-93. Hunter TB, Peltier LF, Lund PJ. Radiologic history exhibit. Musculoskeletal eponyms: who are those guys? Radiographics : a review publication of the Radiological Society of North America, Inc. 2000;20:819. Jacobson HG. Dense bone--too much bone: radiological considerations and differential diagnosis. Skeletal radiology. 1985;13:1-20, 97-113. Johnson MW. Acute knee effusions: a systematic approach to diagnosis. American family physician. 2000;61:2391. Mathison DJ, Teach SJ. Approach to Knee Effusions. Pediatric Emergency Care. 2009;25:773-786. Murphy F, Gunn H. Eponyms in imaging of the upper limb: A historical review. Radiography. 2012;18:123. Old JL, Calvert M. Vertebral compression fractures in the elderly. American family physician. 2004;69:111.
Sliker CW, Steenburg SD, Archer-Arroyo K. Emergency radiology eponyms: part 1--Pott's puffy tumor to Kerley B lines. Emergency Radiology. 2013;20:103.
 Somford MP, Wiegerinck JI, Hoornenborg D, van den Bekerom, Michel P J, Eygendaal D. Eponyms in elbow fracture surgery. Journal of shoulder and elbow surgery / American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons .. [et al.]. 2015;24:369. Towbin R, Dunbar J, Towbin J, Clark R. Teardrop sign: plain film recognition of ankle effusion. American Journal of Roentgenology. 1980;134:985.
Van Riet RP. Elbow dislocations. Current Orthopaedic Practice. 2008;19:616-620.
Wong PK, Hanna TN, Shuaib W, Sanders SM, Khosa F. What's in a name? Lower extremity fracture eponyms (Part 2). International Journal of Emergency Medicine (Online). 2015;8.
Wong PK, Hanna TN, Shuaib W, Sanders SM, Khosa F. What's in a name? Upper extremity fracture eponyms (Part 1). International Journal of Emergency Medicine. 2015;8:1-8.
 Yufit P, Seligson D. Malleolar ankle fractures. A guide to evaluation and treatment. Orthopaedics and Trauma. 2010;24:286-297.