Age estimation from clavicular ossification has been studied by many researchers based on the pattern and degree of the epiphyseal union through the use of dry bone specimens, radiographs, CT and MRI. These studies found clavicular ossification as a useful age indicator up to the third decade of life. The study aimed to document any population specific influence on age estimation using fusion processes of the clavicular epiphysis between the South African and Kenyan population groups. To achieve this objective a study of one thousand six hundred and five (n=1605) digital radiographs of South African and Kenyan population groups, aged between 14-30 years, were evaluated. The ossification process of the medial clavicular epiphysis was scored against Schmeling’s staging system. Growth variations between the two cohorts were carried out using student t-test analysis to assess for any significant differences between the means and standard deviations of the cohorts. A log linear regression test was also applied to test bilateral asymmetry in the ossification status for the medial epiphysis. The results of the paired linear model indicated a wide gap between chronological age (CA) and estimated age (EA) in patients under 20 years. The regression tests observed no significant difference between the EA of the South African and Kenyan populations. The current study yielded no significant differences in the ossification process of the medial clavicle amongst the Black South African and Kenyan populations when using Schmeling’s staging system.
KEY WORDS: Clavicle; Sex; Laterality; Age estimation; Ossification.