To use our website in an optimal way, please activate JavaScript in your Browser.

J Musculoskelet Neuronal Interact, 2012; 12(1): 1-6, PMID: 22373945

The dynamics of bone structure development during pubertal growth.

Year: 2012

Rauch F
Shriners Hospital for Children, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.


The pubertal growth spurt is a time of rapid changes in bone length, mass and structure, followed by the cessation of longitudinal growth. The two best studied anatomical areas in this respect are the metaphyses and the diaphyses of peripheral long bones. A model is presented here in which the speed of longitudinal growth and the resulting age gradient in metaphyseal bone are key factors in explaining the high incidence of distal radius fractures during puberty. As growth in length accelerates, the age of the bone structural elements at a given distance to the growth plate decreases, leaving less time for cortical thickening through trabecular coalescence. This leads to a discrepancy between stagnant metaphyseal bone strength and increasing mechanical requirements in the case of accidents. In comparison to the metaphysis, diaphyseal bone develops more in line with the increasing mechanical requirements, presumably because the bone formation rates needed for diaphyseal growth in width are only a fraction of the apposition rates in the metaphysis. It remains largely unexplored how local and systemic signals are integrated to achieve site-specific changes in bone structure.

GID: 2904; Last update: 07.03.2012
More information: Original Article