Child bones

One of the major features to note when viewing paediatric radiographs of the foot (of children of various ages) is the development of ossification within bones of the foot. The actual outline of the bones are often not ossified and are only present as cartilage, therefore are not visible on radiographs. Ossification of the foot begins in the early foetal period and proceeds into postnatal life. The distal phalanx of the first digit is the first bone to ossify. At birth the centres of ossification are present in all bones except for the navicular and the cuneiforms. As the child grows different centres ossify and ending with complete fusion of all the epihyses with the diaphyses by the age of 22 years.The age of onset and the age of completion of ossification are presented in the diagram below:


Abbreviations: fm = fetal month m.= postnatal month; y.= years (From Gray’s Anatomy)


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