At what age do the bones surrounded by the skull fuse together?
Ossification is the gradual conversion of cartilage or other tissue into bone. At birth ossification is not complete, there are still may membrane complete spaces in the skull, these are call fontanels or "soft spots". Most bone growth occurs during childhood, and ossification of most bones is usually complete by age 25. The 5 bones of the sacrum fuse together from ages 18 to 25. When adjectives bone growth is complete the body is said to be skeletally mature.
The soft spots of the skull unanimously firm up by age 2.
At birth, the human skull is made up of 45 separate bony elements. As growth occurs, lots of these bony elements gradually fuse together into solid bone (for example, the frontal bones). The bones of the roof of the skull are initially separated by regions of dense connective tissue call "cranial sutures". There are five sutures: the frontal suture, sagittal suture, lambdoid suture, coronal suture, and squamosal suture. At birth these regions are fibrous and moveable, necessary for birth and then growth. This growth can put a large amount of stiffness on the "obstetrical hinge," which is where the squamous and lateral parts of the occipital bone stumble upon. A possible complication of this tension is rupture of the great rational vein of Galen. Larger regions of connective tissue where on earth multiple sutures meet are call fontanelles. The six fontanelles are: the anterior fontanelle, the posterior fontanelle, the two sphenoid fontanelles, and the two mastoid fontanelles. As growth and ossification progress, the connective tissue of the fontanelles is invaded and replaced by bone. The posterior fontanelle usually closes by eight weeks, but the anterior fontanelle can remain up to eighteen months. The anterior fontanelle is located at the junction of the frontal and parietal bones; it is a "soft spot" on a baby's forehead. Careful close watch will show that you can count a baby's heart rate by observing his or her pulse pulsing softly through the anterior fontanelle.
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