Salter–Harris fracture is a fracture that involves the epiphyseal plate or growth plate of a bone. It is a common injury found in children, occurring in 15% of childhood long bone fractures.

 

  • Type I – transverse fracture through the growth plate (also referred to as the "physis"): 6% incidence
  • Type II – A fracture through the growth plate and the metaphysis, sparing the epiphysis: 75% incidence, takes approximately 2–3 weeks to heal.
  • Type III – A fracture through growth plate and epiphysis, sparing the metaphysis: 8% incidence
  • Type IV – A fracture through all three elements of the bone, the growth platemetaphysis, and epiphysis: 10% incidence
  • Type V – A compression fracture of the growth plate (resulting in a decrease in the perceived space between the epiphysis and diaphysis on x-ray): 1% incidence

The mnemonic "SALTER" can be used to help remember the first five types.[10][11][12] This mnemonic requires the reader to imagine the bones as long bones, with the epiphyses at the base.

  • I – S = Slip (separated or straight across). Fracture of the cartilage of the physis (growth plate)
  • II – A = Above. The fracture lies above the physis, or Away from the joint.
  • III – L = Lower. The fracture is below the physis in the epiphysis.
  • IV – TE = Through Everything. The fracture is through the metaphysis, physis, and epiphysis.
  • V – R = Rammed (crushed). The physis has been crushed.