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Human Growth pp 317-355 | Cite as

Bone Growth and Maturation

  • Alex F. Roche

Abstract

“Growth” is often defined as an increase in size, but more specificity is needed. An increase in size of the whole body, or of an organ such as a bone, may be due to one or a combination of three processes: (1) Hyperplasia or an increase in cell number. This involves duplication of DNA and cell division. (2) Hypertrophy or an increase in cell size. True hypertrophy implies an increase in the size of the active functional elements of a cell as occurs in skeletal muscle with exercise. (3) Storage of organic or nonorganic materials within or among cells. Each of these three processes occurs during bone growth, but the extent to which any one of them dominates depends upon age and the part of the bone considered. Furthermore, these processes are often reversed in localized areas. While the over-all change is an increase in size, some parts may become smaller or be removed completely. In such areas, there is a reduction in cell number or cell size or a reduction in the amounts of organic or nonorganic material stored, or, more commonly, a combination of all these processes.

Keywords

Skeletal Maturity Calcify Cartilage Skeletal Maturation Middle Phalanx Maturity Indicator 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alex F. Roche
    • 1
  1. 1.The Fels Research Institute, and Department of PediatricsWright State University School of MedicineYellow SpringsUSA

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