UMEM Educational Pearls

Category: Orthopedics

Title: Pediatric Strains versus Fractures

Keywords: Salter Harris, Fracture, Strain, pediatric (PubMed Search)

Posted: 10/13/2007 by Michael Bond, MD (Updated: 6/25/2022)
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Pediatric Strain versus Fracture

  • Due to the fact that tendons are much stronger than the physeal growth plate in pre-pubescent children, one should be extremely cautious when diagnosing a strain/sprain. 
  • Pre-pubescent pediatric patients should be treated as if they have a Salter Harris I fracture with an appropriate splint and close follow up.

Review of Salter Harris Fractures

  1. A fracture through the physeal growth plate. Typically can not be seen on x-ray unless they growth plate is widened.
  2. A fracture through the physeal growth plate and metaphysis.
  3. A fracture through the physeal growth plate and epiphysis.
  4. A fracture through the physis, physeal growth plate and metaphysis.
  5. A crush injury of the physeal growth plate.

Please click here for a pictorial of Salter Harris Fractures from FP Notebook.