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Questions for Dr. Kennedy
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late teen HGH for height
Posted by: Roberta
Date: February 23, 2005 2:16 PM

My son, age 16-1/2, bone age 17 (wrist), 5' 7" has been told by our specialist that because of the bone age, he can not be helped by HGH. You suggest finding an open-minded doctor with this issue. Does the wrist xray of 17 mean that the femur, tibia and fibula are closed? Would you suggest extra xrays? He is also Tanner IV puberty. Our docor says he only has 1/2 inch growth remaining and it will be in the body, not the legs. Is there any chance that HGH will give him an extra inch or two at this time?

RE: late teen HGH for height
Posted by: Ron Kennedy, M.D.
Date: February 23, 2005 2:37 PM

Until the epiphyses of the long bones (femur, tibia and fibula when considering height) close, further growth is possible. That occurs on average around 18. The test would be an x-ray of a knee (only one is necessary) for fusion, closure, or ossification (they all mean the same thing) (or lack thereof) of the epipyseal plate. There are other causes of short stature - obviously poor nutrition and genetic endowment, but also hypothyroidism (which should produce other symptoms as well).

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