Home » Fun » Wrist x-rays can predict a Child’s age

Wrist x-rays can predict a Child’s age

Adapted from Radiopaedia.org

Can you guess the bone age of this wrist x-ray?

Did you know that your kid’s wrist x-ray roughly matches his/her age?

The small bones of the wrist are called the carpal bones. They start out with no calcium at birth, and do not show on x-ray. They start building up calcium during the first three months of age in a process called Ossification. This occurs in a predictable manner and the bones ‘start appearing’ on x-ray in this order:

  • One bone:                 1-3 months
  • Two bones:               2-4 months
  • Three bones:            2-3 years
  • Four bones:              2-4 years
  • Five-seven bones:   4-6 years
  • Eight bones:             8-12 years

Next time you get an x-ray of your child’s wrist, count the ‘little round’ bones to find out the ‘bone age’.

Time to ossification, similar to height and weight of a growing child, can be highly variable and bone age X-rays are not obtained for  healthy children. A discrepancy between bone age and actual age is not a reason to worry unless there are concerns about the child’s growth.

 


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