We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is the Metaphysis?

Mary McMahon
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
The Health Board is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At The Health Board, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

The metaphysis is an area of the bone which grows during childhood. When children are born, the metaphysis is comprised primarily of cartilage, which allows the bone some room to grow over time. As people grow up, the cartilage grows and slowly ossifies into solid bone. Depending on the bone and the person, all of the long bones have usually finished growing completely by age 25, and many of the bones stop growing long before this point.

The end of the bone, the rounded area which articulates with other bones, is known as the epiphysis. Between this area and the metaphysis lies the epiphyseal plate, an area of the bone which expands as the bone grows. Sometimes the epiphyseal plate is considered part of the metaphysis. Below the metaphysis is the diaphysis or shaft of the bone, which makes up the main section of the bone.

In childhood, this part of the bone has a very rich blood supply which is designed to promote healthy growth. The fact that the bones are still growing explains why children heal more quickly from fractures, because their bones are better able to recover. However, the increased blood supply also comes with a problematic aspect: Children can develop a number of medical problems in their bones such as cancers and infections which are made worse by the rich blood supply in the metaphysis.

One problem which children can experience is osteomyelitis, a bone infection. Osteomyelitis spreads more quickly when there is an ample blood supply to carry the infection. Children can also develop bone cysts and cancers like osteoblastoma, enchondroma, and fibrosarcoma in their rapidly growing bones. Treatment for these conditions can be complicated by the rapid growth of the bone. Disorders of bone growth can also occur and lead to problems such as disparities in limb length.

Physical anthropologists have conducted a number of studies examining the growth of bone over time and have arrived at some highly accurate estimates of when growth begins to slow and stop. These estimates can be used to accurately date long bones even when the rest of a body is not available, because someone can examine the bone, note the development of the metaphysis and epiphysis, and determine how old the person was. This information is used in the investigation of modern crime as well as in the field of anthropology, where understanding of bone development has allowed people to estimate the approximate age at death of ancient human populations.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a The Health Board researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments

By burcinc — On Nov 04, 2011

I've always wondered why older people have to remain in casts and off their feet for so long after fracturing a bone. I had no idea that metaphysis is not bone, but a cartilage when we are young. It's just like our nose which also tends to heal faster because it's a cartilage. I think this is really cool!

I'm 25 now and I know I'm not going to grow any more after this. I grew a lot up until I was 16, and then it slowed down a bit until I was 22 and I grew some more. I haven't had any change in my height in the last two years though so I guess my bone metaphysis is entirely complete and solid.

Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.