Epiphyseal plate

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A diagram of the epiphyseal plate.

The epiphyseal plate (or epiphysial plate, or growth plate) is the cartilage plate in the long bones of children and adolescents. The longitudinal growth of these bones occurs primarily at these plates. Around the age of 17 the epiphyseal cartilage cells stop duplicating and the entire cartilage is slowly replaced by bone. Bone growth stops. Ossification of all bones is usually completed by age 25. Once the adult stage is reached, the only way to manipulate height is modifying bone length via distraction osteogenesis.

John Hunter studied growing chickens. He observed bones grew at the ends and thus demonstrated the existence of the epiphyseal plates. Hunter is considered the "father of the growth plate".[1].

Salter-Harris fractures can occur on epiphyseal plates.

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