How Long Bones Grow

Human skeletal Bones are bristling with life , and capable of changing any time just like any other part of the body.

The outer surface of bone is called the periosteum a thin, dense membrane with nerves and blood vessels that nourish the bone.The next layer is made up of compact bone. This part is smooth and very hard. It’s the part you see when you look at a skeleton.

Within the compact bone are many layers of cancellous bone, which looks a bit like a sponge.

Infants have more cartilage than bone. More than 300 parts, most of which are made of cartilage material make up the skeleton of a new born baby.

This cartilage becomes bone with ossification process as a child develops, some of the bones merging to form larger bones and by adulthood the skeleton remains with 206 bones

The epiphyseal plate (A.K.A growth plate) is a sheet of cartilage that develops between the growing bone matrix of the shaft of the bone.

The continued development and manufacture of new cartilage matrix (growth plate) in both directions away from the shaft, allows the developing long bone to continue to grow in length

Regulatory hormonal signals change in the post – adolescent years (~18-23 years) which slow the rate of epiphyseal cartilage growth and the epiphyseal plates are eventually replaced by bone matrix fusing the diaphysis to its epiphyses.

Beyond that stage, no further growth in length in bone may be possible for a given long bone.

Growth of the epiphyseal plate is regulated by human growth hormone, H.G.H, and the sex hormones (estrogens and androgens).

 how long bones grow

Details of How Bones Grow in length


A long bone, such as your femur (thigh bone), grows in length at either end in regions called growth plates.

Development takes place when cartilage splits and increases in number in these growth plates.

The new fibrous tissue created forces mature, larger fibrous tissues towards the middle of a bone

In the long run, the mature fibrous tissues die and the gap they filled is occupied by solid bone. As earlier discussed, when you are past adolescence, the growth plate which is cartilage stops growing rapidly and ossifies becoming bone marking the end of the process of new bone manufacture in long bones thus the end of growth.

However, if you have passed puberty and are not satisfied with your height, by knowing the nature of bones you can still make them grow. Rigorous exercises, including yoga, that help stretch muscle may add on existing bone mass which can make you Grow taller..

How to grow taller naturally. Tips to increase your height naturally even after Puberty

Long and strong

Your leg bones are the longest and strongest bones in your body.When you stand or walk, all the weight of your upper body rests on them. Each leg is made up of four bones. The three long bones are your femur, your tibia and your fibula. The fourth bone is your small patella, which is better known as the knee cap.



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