AJ PHOTO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY AJ PHOTO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Child's hand. X-ray showing the bones in the hand of a normal three year old child. Bones appear white. This child's hand reveals wide spaces of cartilage between each finger bone at each joint, where bone growth and ossification (bone formation) must still take place. Only a few wrist bones (lower centre) are visible as a number of them are made almost entirely of cartilage at this age. As the child gets older the bones will lengthen and ossify to be easily seen on X-rays and the joint spaces will close to form the adult pattern. At the bottom of the image are parts of the radius and ulna bones of the forearm.
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