First broadcast on  Focus on Orthopaedics Week

This information is provided by Provet for educational purposes only.

You should seek the advice of your veterinarian if your pet is ill as only he or she can correctly advise on the diagnosis and recommend the treatment that is most appropriate for your pet.

In evaluating radiographs of the skeleton of young animals it is important to know the usual closure times of growth plates in order to decide whether there is premature, or delayed closure.

The following tables list the range and average closure times (in days after birth) reported by different authors worldwide. 


Growth Plate Closure - Range (days) Closure - Average (days)
Tuber scapulae 117-210 186
Proximal humeral epiphysis 273-465 375
Medial and lateral humeral condyles 138-236 187
Medial humeral epicondyle 187-240 216
Proximal radial epiphysis 136-330 258
Distal radial epiphysis 136-510 318
Proximal ulnar epiphysis 161-450 258
Distal ulnar epiphysis 217-450 308
Intermediate and radial carpal bones 101
Central carpal bone 110
Epiphysis of accessory bone 113-180 135
Proximal metacarpal epiphysis 145
Distal metacarpal epiphysis II-V 165-240 203
Proximal phalangeal epiphysis I 141
Proximal phalanx proximal epiphysis II-V 131-224 186
Middle phalanx. proximal epiphysis II-V 131-224 183
Acetabulum 112
Ilium 112
Ischium 112
Pubis 112
Tuber ischii 292
Femoral head 129-540 320
Femur - greater trochanter 129-540 320
Femur - lesser trochanter 129-360 269
Distal femoral epiphysis 136-392 330
Tibial condyles 143-413 322
Tibial tuberosity 143-435 249
Distal tibial epiphysis 136-495 313
Medial tibial malleolus 138
Proximal fibular epiphysis 136-360 297
Distal fibular epiphysis 136-495 288
Fibular tarsal bone 159
Tarsal bones III and IV 101
Distal metatarsal epiphysis II-V 165-270 217
Proximal phalangeal epiphysis II-V 161-210 187
Middle phalanx - proximal epiphysis II-V 161-210 187

The range of time reported for closure can be quite great making interpretation for any individual animal difficult. 


(Table Modified after Newton. D.M  in Textbook of Small Animal Orthopaedics 1985, and used with permission of the Publishers  L:ippincott, Williams and Wilkins)

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Last updated : January  2016