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November 1949


Author Affiliations

Dr. Parker was formerly a Fellow in Orthopaedic Surgery, Northwestern University Medical Specialty Training Program.

Arch Surg. 1949;59(5):1100-1121. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1949.01240041110011

THE MECHANISM of control of individual stature has been a subject for extensive research and conjecture for two centuries or more, and yet it is little understood. Growth is an inherent property of living matter, but the regulation of growth is under more specific controls which can be altered by chemical or other means that disturb the normal physiologic balance of tissue metabolism. If we could fully understand these factors, then we should be able to govern skeletal growth, to some extent at least, of normal growing people and to alter the course of pathologic growth when it is produced by physiologic imbalances.

It is well known that many factors can stimulate, inhibit or halt longitudinal bone growth in a given bone or extremity, depending on the mechanism involved. In general, conditions which produce hyperemia, and hence increase metabolic activity of the part, produce an increased rate of longitudinal bone