Risser sign is a radiographic sign that is used to assess skeletal maturity. The sign was described by Joseph Risser in 1958. Risser observed that as the growth plate on top of the pelvis (iliac apophysis) completed growing, it changed from cartilage to bone. Normally, the apophysis is not visible on xray as it is cartilaginous in nature.
As it ossifies, the part that gets ossified is visible on xray and based on this visibility, the Risser sign is of following types
Risser I – 25% of the bony cap (iliac apophysis) is ossified and can be seen on xray.
Risser II – 50% of the bony cap is ossified and visible on xray
Risser III – 75% of the bony cap is ossified and visible on the xray.
Risser IV – Whole of the bony cap is ossified and visible on the xray.
Risser V – The space between the cap and the pelvis fills in completely with bone. In other words, the apophysis has fused with the bone.
By the time Risser 3 is there the patient has passed the peak of the growth spurt.
[it is this spurt where scoliosis curves can increase rapidly.]
Skeletal maturity can be assessed by the Risser sign. Once started, the Risser sign usually takes 2 years to complete and its progression is quite predictable.
- Risser Sign – Image Credit – http://www.e-radiography.net/radpath/r/risser-sign.htm
Once started, the Risser sign usually takes 2 years to complete and its progression is quite predictable.« Back to Glossary Index