Dr. Rabindra Nath Mishra* and Prof. (Dr.) Medha Joshi


The process of gradual bone formation is known as „ossification‟. Both cartilages and bones are mesodermal in origin. They develop from the embryonic mesenchyme. ossification in membrane is an urgent affair and the process is accomplished with extreme rapidity. Whereas ossification in cartilage is a gradual and leisurly procedure. But in the both situations final histological structures of membrane and cartilage bones is identical. The point from where ossification starts is known as the centre of ossification. It is of two types viz. primary and secondary. Primary centres appear in pre-natal life whereas secondary centres appear post-natal with certain exceptions. Epiphysis in bones other than long bones fuse with the main part of the bone between 20-25 years. Fusion of epiphysis with diaphysis occurs two years earlier in women than in men. Epiphysis also appears earlier in women. Biological and structural maturity of a child is assessed in a comprehensive way by the estimation of bone-age rather than arithmetic operations since date of birth. The most common method to assess bone-age is through radiograph of the manus and the wrist joint. Other method stated is ultrasonography but it serves no good as compared to radiograph technique. It remains as theoretical entity only. Dental age serves as an optional tool to assess bone age in relation with skeletal maturity. There is a need to develop more comprehensive tool for bone-age estimation and skeletal maturity.

Keywords: Ossification, epiphysis, diaphysis, bone-age, skeletal maturity.

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