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1.01 Background of Study
Age is one of the noteworthy characteristics in identification of an individual and has medico legal significance in administration of justice. Age Determination is important for identification of individual as well as unknown skeletal remains. Age can be established with considerable accuracy by x-ray of skeleton from womb to tomb.
This is possible due to complex but dependable system by which osseous framework of body develops, grows, and matures (Brogdon,1961). Determination of age of an individual whether living, dead or from human remains is a vexing problem for medical jurist in both civil and criminal matters. Age estimation cases are often referred to forensic experts as it is a very important issue to the court of law, immigration agencies and to common man (Satya and Bansal,2014). In law the crime and punishment is entirely based on criminal responsibility and this in turn depends on the age of a person.
Age is helpful in identification of an individual which in turn is helpful in both civil and criminal cases (Srivastav et al., 2004). In the health system, administration of drugs depends on the age of an individual.
Age determination is also needed in sports institutions due to age cheating. The bones of human skeleton develop from a number of ossification centers (Reddy, 2009).The time of appearance of centers of ossification and the process of union of the epiphysis with the diaphysis has a sequence and time period (Keith, 1984). Considerable variations occur in sex, geographical distribution, nutritional status, physical activity, hormonal and metabolic disorders and also depending upon race.
There is a variation in the timing of appearances and fusion of epiphyses of bones (Satya and Bansal, 2014).It is an established fact that the sequence and ultimate ossification of epiphysis varies in both sexes in different part of the world to the extent that there are wide variation even in the population of the different states of a country (Anju et al., 2014).
The study of epiphyseal union of bones is considered a reasonably accurate and accepted method for age determination. Despite the fact that there are a number of laws requiring registration of births (e.g. Registration of births and deaths Act 1969) most births are not properly recorded. Females are usually a year or so ahead of males in fusion dates (Keith, 1984). Radiographic survey of appearance of Ossification centers in various bones is, undoubtedly, one of the best methods for age estimation, especially in children and adolescents, till ossification is complete. (Kange et al., 2010). As a general rule, the ageing of bones is more precise with respect to the appearance of centers of ossification than it is with respect to the union of epiphyses (Pillay, 2004). The complexity of overall ossification problem may be gleaned by the estimation that at the 11th prenatal week in humans there are some 806 centers of bone growth, at birth about 450, while the adult skeleton has only 206 bones (Vij, 2008).
Epiphysis of the bones unites during age periods which are remarkably constant for a particular epiphysis (Aggarwal, 2006).It has been also stated that the study of epiphyseal union of bones is considered a reasonable scientific and accepted method for age determination by the law courts all over the world (Bangerjee and Aggraal, 1998).
1.02Aim of Study