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Duke Medicine: Your growing bones - all about growth plates

Posted May 28, 2012

Dr. David E. Attarian of Duke Total Joint Center, Dr. Andre C. Grant of Duke Orthopaedics of Raleigh, and Dr. Robert Lark, a pediatric orthopaedic specialist, answer some questions about growth plates in bones.

What are growth plates?

Growth plates are zones of cartilage at each end of our long bones (femure, tibia, etc.).

These bones grow by the contribution of new bone from the growth plate. Because of their soft nature, these parts of the bone are vulnerable to injury during the development of a child.

When do growth plates close in people?

It is difficult to predict exactly when each growth plate will close because different bones stop growing at different times. There is an average time when the growth plates in the long bones should close.

Most children grow an average of two years after they have completed their pubertal growth spurt.

For more information about growth plates, read the full post at DukeHealth.org. Duke Medicine, Go Ask Mom's sponsor, offers health information and tips every Tuesday.


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