To establish a guideline to assess bone maturation and determine physeal closure time of distal limbs in Asian elephants
Materials & Methods
Latitudinal radiographic evaluation of bone maturation of left distal radius, ulna, tibia and fibula was performed in 35 healthy Asian elephants, aged from newborn to 30 years. The development of the secondary ossification centers and their fusion to the diaphyses were graded as follow : grade 0 = no secondary ossification center present ; grade 1 and 2 = the secondary ossification center occupy < 50% and 50100% of the width of the metaphyses, respectively ; grade 3 = the distance between the secondary ossification center and the metaphysis begins to diminish ; grade 4 and 5 = the physes are <50% and 50-100% closed, respectively ; grade 6 = <50% of the physeal line remains.
Results and Conclusion
The secondary ossification centers of distal radius, ulna and tibia were present at newborn, but that of the distal fibula appeared later. Of the ossification centers studied, the fibula began to fuse first, followed by tibia and both radius and ulna, respectively. The bone maturation of the distal fibula was complete at 25 years. All physes of the distal limbs studied were completely closed in the 30 -year- old elephant.