The relationship of cartilage canals to the initial osteogenesis of secondary centers of ossification



Initial osteogenesis of secondary centers of ossification in the humeral head of the dog was studied with serial sections, histochemistry, radiography and vascular injections. At birth this chondroepiphysis was found to be well vascularized by a network of cartilage canals. On the second day after birth the first morphological evidence of the secondary center of ossification was seen. This was in the form of multiple foci of calcification. Each focus of calcification occurred immediately adjacent to the glomerular end of a cartilage canal and not in an avascular matrix. The capillaries of the glomerulus were modified in the process and persisted as the blood supply to the secondary center of ossification. By four days of age the individual foci had coalesced into a single larger focus of calcification. This process of ossification was found to possess morphological similarities to that occurring at the metaphyseal side of the epiphyseal plate.