Seymour fractures of the toe are physeal fractures with often occult concomitant nail bed injuries and thus are open fractures. They are uncommon injuries that without proper treatment can result in osteomyelitis. The literature has sparse information regarding the clinical outcomes for these injuries.

A single-center retrospective review included juxta-epiphyseal fractures or Salter-Harris I/II fracture of the toe with documented concomitant nail bed injury or laceration. Clinical and radiographic data were recorded for consecutive fractures. The primary outcome was the incidence of osteomyelitis. Secondary outcomes included premature physeal arrest, development of nail dystrophy, and functionality of the toe.

Between 2006 and 2019, 19 patients were treated for this injury by the pediatric orthopaedic division. Complications included osteomyelitis (n=6), physeal arrest (n=4), and nail dystrophy (n=1). Days from injury to definitive treatment were significantly greater in patients who developed osteomyelitis compared with those who did not (P< 0.01). Patients were significantly more likely to develop osteomyelitis if they did not receive acute definitive treatment (< 48 h) (P< 0.001; likelihood ratio, 17.9).

Prompt definitive treatment of Seymour fractures of the toe was associated with a lower incidence of osteomyelitis. Greater awareness for these seemingly innocuous injuries is needed to provide an early treatment that may reduce the rate of osteomyelitis.

Level IV-case series.