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Radiology/second xray for growth plates?


Hi, I am a 19 year old male and have recently had an X RAY done to see if my growth plates have fused yet or not. Unfortunately my scans revealed no visible plates which means they have fused. Prior to testing i was adamant that a males plates should stay open till at least 22 maximum 25 years old. So when I received my results I was shocked to say the least. Now I don't want to leave any stones unturned and figured that the best thing to do to put my mind at rest is to have have a second test done. I know that the result will 99% be the same but I have to try again for my own mindset to be at rest. My question is would it be possible for the second x ray to show a different story to the first one?

Hello, Chad.

While it IS possible that a second x-ray could show something different, it is highly unlikely. I would advise that the results from an additional dose of radiation would not be worth the risk of exposure.

The growth plates of different bones in the body fuse at different ages. Generally, ossification begins shortly after puberty and continues for a couple of years. Most articles I read state that growth plates fuse between the ages of 18 - 20, though some medications can cause premature bone aging (ex: Accutane).

Of course, nothing in medicine is set in stone and there are exceptions to every rule. Rather than have another x-ray, I'd recommend that you ask a different radiologist for a second reading of the initial study. You could also ask the physician that ordered your bone age exam if (s)he thinks a second x-ray of a different bone would be helpful.

I hope this helps,


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Delia White


I am not qualified to interpret diagnostic imaging or to diagnose disease. Please consult a physician for that information. I am the photographer. I can tell you what to expect during most MRI, CT and X-ray procedures.


I now have more than 30 years experience in diagnostic imaging. My specialty is MRI. I am also very familiar with CT and the way we used to take x-rays (everything's digital now)!

I received my Bachelor of Science degree in Radiologic Technology.

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