Epiphyseal ossification and shaft elongation in human metatarsal bones


  • Alexander F. Roche

    1. University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
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    • Reader in Anatomy, Department of Anatomy, University of Melbourne, Parkville N. 2, Victoria, Australia.

  • This work was supported by the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia


Measurements of the lengths of the shafts of the third, fourth and fifth metatarsals have been made on serial standarized radiographs of white Australian children. A statistical analysis showed that, in the boys, there were no real differences between the rates of elongation of the shafts during periods when the corresponding epiphyses became radio-opaque and those that occurred during earlier or later periods. There was a statistically significant tendency in the girls for rate of elongation of metatarsals to be more rapid before radio-opaque changes in epiphyses were noted than after.