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Brief communication: Radiographic study of metatarsal one basal epiphyseal fusion: A note of caution on age determination



This study examines radiographs of first metatarsals of 131 individuals from age 17–88 years to determine whether internal basal epiphyseal lines may be visible past the age of metatarsal fusion, which usually occurs between 14 and 16 years of age (Scheuer and Black: The juvenile skeleton. San Diego: Elsevier Academic Press,2004). In 29% (38 out of 131) of the radiographed first metatarsals (MT1s) the basal epiphyseal scar is visible, including in one individual who was 80 years old. Statistically, there was no relationship between the loss of the epiphyseal scar and age. Thus, the presence of the epiphyseal scar does not necessarily indicate subadult age. These data suggest that OH 8's radiographically visible basal epiphyseal line has no bearing on whether it is a subadult or not. Am J Phys Anthropol 2012. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.