Skip to main content

Advertisement

Log in

Radiology of postnatal skeletal development

V. Distal humerus

  • Articles
  • Published:
Skeletal Radiology Aims and scope Submit manuscript

Abstract

Thirty-one pairs of distal humeri were obtained from human cadavers ranging in age from full-term neonates to fourteen years. These were studied morphologically and roentgenographically. Specimen roentgenography using air/cartilage interfacing demonstrated both osseous and cartilaginous components of the epiphyses. These roentgenographic aspects of development are discussed and illustrated to provide a basic reference index.

The supracondylar region is characterized by a fossa which initially is in both metaphysis and epiphysis, but migrates to the metaphysis completely within the first year. On either side of the fossa are osseous columns, which contrast with the broad metaphyseal bone above the columns. Within the fossa, anteriorly and posteriorly, are fat pads which may be elevated by intraarticular hematoma or reactive joint fluid. The physeal contour initially is transverse and smooth. Lappet formation progressively demarcates the epicondylar physeal regions, with the medial one becoming a functionally, but not histologically separate region.

The capitellum is the first region to develop a secondary ossification center. This progressively expands into the trochlear portion of the epiphysis, a factor which predisposes to lateral condyle fracture propagation across the trochlear articular surface. The trochlea characteristically ossifies by multiple foci which fuse over time, often creating an irregular appearance to the developing ossification center. Epicondylar ossification tends to be from solitary foci. The lateral epicondylar center fuses with the capitellar center, whereas the medial epicondyle tends to be a functionally separate entity throughout development and does not normally fuse to the trochlear ossification center.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or Ebook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Similar content being viewed by others

References

  1. Barnard LB, McCoy SM (1946) The supracondyloid process of the humerus. J Bone Joint Surg 28:845

    Google Scholar 

  2. Birkner R (1978) Normal radiologic patterns and variances of the human skeleton. Urban and Schwartzenberg, Baltimore

    Google Scholar 

  3. Caffey J (1978) Pediatric X-ray diagnosis. Yearbook Medical Publishers, Chicago

    Google Scholar 

  4. Keats TE, Smith TH (1977) Normal developmental anatomy. Yearbook Medical Publishers, Chicago

    Google Scholar 

  5. Leithn A (1935) The traumatic origin of accessory bones at the elbow. J Bone Joint Surg 17:933

    Google Scholar 

  6. Ogden JA, Conlogue GJ, Jenson PS (1978) Radiology of postnatal skeletal development. I. Proximal humerus. Skeletal Radiol 2:153

    Google Scholar 

  7. Ogden JA, Conlogue GJ, Bronson ML, Jensen PS (1979) Radiology of postnatal skeletal development. II. The manubrium and sternum. Skeletal Radiol 4:189

    Google Scholar 

  8. Ogden JA, Conlogue GJ, Bronson ML (1979) Radiology of postnatal skeletal development. III. The clavicle. Skeletal Radiol 4:196

    Google Scholar 

  9. Ogden JA, Beall JK, Conlogue GJ, Light TR (1981) Radiology of postnatal skeletal development. IV. Distal radius and ulna. Skeletal Radiol 6:255

    Google Scholar 

  10. Ogden JA (1981) Injury to the growth mechanisms of the immature skeleton. Skeletal Radiol 6:237

    Google Scholar 

  11. Ogden JA (to be published) Skeletal injury in the child. Lea and Febiger, Philadelphia

  12. Ozonoff MB (1979) Pediatric orthopedic radiology. WB Saunders, Philadelphia

    Google Scholar 

  13. Rang M (1974) Children's fractures. JB Lippincott, Philadelphia

    Google Scholar 

  14. Rogers LF (1970) The radiography of epiphyseal injuries. Radiology 96:289

    Google Scholar 

  15. Rogers LF, Rockwood CA (1973) Separation of the entire distal humeral epiphysis. Radiology 106:393

    Google Scholar 

  16. Rogers LF, Malave S Jr, White H, Tachdjian MO (1978) Plastic bowing, torus and greenstick supracondylar fractures of the humerus: Radiographic clues to obscure fractures of the elbow in children. Radiology 128:145

    Google Scholar 

  17. Schwarz G (1957) Bilateral antecubital ossicles (fabella cubiti) and other rare assessory bones of the elbow. Radiology 69:730

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

McCarthy, S.M., Ogden, J.A. Radiology of postnatal skeletal development. Skeletal Radiol 7, 239–249 (1982). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00361979

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00361979

Key words

Navigation