ossification centers of the elbow

There are six ossification centers of the elbow that appear and develop in a relatively reproducible fashion, and are key to assessment of the pediatric elbow radiograph. Timing of their appearance varies in the literature but an approximation is given below. A useful mnemonic to remember the order of development is CRITOL or CRITOE (see video below).

  • capitellum: 2-24 months
  • radial head: 3-6 years
  • internal (medial) epicondyle: 4-7 years
  • trochlea: 8-10 years
  • olecranon 8-10 years
  • external (lateral) epicondyle: 10-13 years
See also