Growth plates are an essential part of the body during the height growth process. They continually develop throughout childhood and come to a halt as we reach maturity. So, when do growth plates close? Let’s delve into the details in this article.
What are growth plates?
Cartilage is a flexible and elastic type of tissue, present in various parts of the body such as joints, ears, nose, and ribs. Its main function is to provide mechanical support and reduce friction between bone surfaces during movement.
Growth plates refer to the regeneration and transformation of cartilage into new bone. This process occurs throughout the body’s developmental stages. During the fetal stage, cartilage cells begin to form and divide to create initial cartilage areas. As the body grows, cartilage continues to expand through division and the production of new cells.
The process of growth plate expansion also occurs during the healing of injuries or when cartilage is damaged. Cartilage cells near the injured area will intensify their division and produce additional cartilage to replace and repair the affected region.
How does growth cartilage affect height?
The process of growth cartilage occurs in children and adolescents during the developmental and maturation phase of the body. During this time, the cartilage tubes divide and generate new cartilage, which then transforms into bone. This transformation is known as ossification.
The growth cartilage and ossification region are commonly referred to as the growth plates of long bones. They are located at the ends of long bones in the body, such as the bones of the legs, arms, and thighs. Under the influence of endocrine glands, the process of growth and ossification continues, allowing the long bones to grow vertically. This is also how our height increases over time.
Once the body has completed its physiological characteristics, the rate of cartilage growth and bone ossification gradually decreases and eventually stops. This is also the time when our height ceases to increase further.
The developmental journey of growth cartilage
The developmental journey of growth cartilage comprises five main stages: Formation, Cartilage tube formation, Division and generation of new cartilage tissue, Bone conversion, and Complete ossification. Understanding these stages helps us to have a more informed adjustment plan to promote comprehensive development.
Formation stage of initial cartilage
The process of forming initial cartilage occurs during the fetal stage. Mesenchymal cells begin to differentiate into cartilage cells. Subsequently, this cell group continues to transform into cartilage systems in the fetus.
Stage of cartilage tube formation
The initial cartilage cells organize into cartilage tubes, also known as growth plates. This is a critical stage in the development of long bones. The cartilage tubes contain cartilage cells that divide and synthesize cartilage matrix components.
Stage of generating new cartilage tissue
As our bodies grow, especially during adolescence, the strong influence of endocrine glands stimulates cartilage cells in the growth plates to divide and generate additional new cartilage cells. This process contributes to the increase in length of the bones in the body, subsequently leading to an increase in height.
Stage of bone conversion
The characteristic of the bone conversion stage is when cartilage cells evolve into bone cells, forming layers of bone matrix and creating new bone. This process occurs vigorously during adolescence.
Stage of complete bone ossification
After the body reaches a certain level of development, the rate of bone ossification gradually decreases and eventually stops. Cartilage at this stage does not grow in length anymore but continues to maintain its supportive and protective function for organs and joints in the body.
Hi everyone, I’m Tony Scotti, an expert in the field of height increase with many years of experience researching and applying height increase methods, and have achieved promising results. I have created increase height blog as a personal blog to share knowledge and experience about what I have learned during the process of improving my own height.