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A Longitudinal Study of Skeletal Maturation

CHARLOTTE F. HANSMAN, M.D.; MARION M. MARESH, M.D.
Am J Dis Child. 1961;101(3):305-321. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1961.04020040033006.
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I. The Assessment of Skeletal Maturation from Roentgenograms of the Hand and Wrist  The terms "bone age" and "skeletal age" are applied frequently to the maturational status of children. Although the phrases in themselves are innocuous there is a tendency to downgrade the child who has a "retarded bone age" as one does the child who has a "retarded mental age." The child who is small, i.e., below the tenth percentile in height and weight, is usually accepted without prejudice, but the one whose skeleton is maturing at a slightly slower rate than usual for his chronological age is often considered inferior. This attitude places an added, unfair burden on the small child. There seems to be no readily acceptable means of remedying this situation. Perhaps when the range in maturation of the skeletons of healthy children of the same age is better understood the stigma of "retarded bone age" may be removed at least in part.The first part of this paper

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