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What is the growth plate?

The growth plate is a layer of cartilage at the end of bones that allows the bones to get bigger.

A growth plate is developing cartilage near the wider portion of long bones. The cartilage is in place to allow for growth of the individual. Once a person has reached maturity, usually around 18 to 25, the cartilage ossifies into solid bone.

This answer provided for NATA by the Gustavus Adolphus College Athletic Training Education Program.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.