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How accurate are bone x-rays

My 16 year old son is 5'5 (and very worried).  The doctor has told us that his x-ray (wrist) shows that his growth plates are fused.  Is it possible that the x-ray reading is not accurate, or that he will continue to grow anyway?  His dad and uncles are 6ft and over.  The shortest man in my family is 5'8.  The doctor also said his bone age is 19- don't some boys grow even after 19?  Any advice?

5 Responses
310293 tn?1274739773
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Well, good question, the atlas is of healthy "normal" children so many may argue in regards to a bone age, but fusion of the growth plates is not really ambiguous, we usually age the bones distal to proximal meaning the tips of the fingers leading to our more overall impression rather than the wrist, however if the wrist if fused there is not much growth left, 1/2 to 1 inch at most. You can ask for a pediatric radiologist to read it or an endocrinologist if you like, bone age of 19 is pretty much done.
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A related discussion, 11 1/2 year old boy with bone age of 13 was started.
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A related discussion, 11 1/2 year old boy with bone age of 13 was started.
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