Tanner-Whitehouse method

Last revised by Uğur Kesimal on 3 Feb 2021

The Tanner-Whitehouse (TW) method is a way of assessing the bone age of children. There are several variations of this method, but all use a DP radiograph of the left hand and wrist to assess the relative maturity of the bones of the patient.

The TW2 (Tanner-Whitehouse 2) methods 1:

  • RUS (radius-ulna-short bones): 13 bones including the radius, ulna and short bones of the thumb, middle and little fingers
  • carpus: 7 carpal bones
  • 20-bones method: combines the two

Each of the bones that is being evaluated is compared to a standard set of bones at different stages of maturation. A score is assigned to each bone based on maturation and sex of the patient.

Once all the bones have been scored, a total score is generated by adding all bone scores together and then plotted on a graph to determine how the bone age relates to the chronological age.

The TW2 method was developed using radiographs from average-class children in the UK between 1950 and 1960. TW3 (Tanner-Whitehouse 3) method is an update published in 2001 1.

ADVERTISEMENT: Supporters see fewer/no ads

Updating… Please wait.

 Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

 Thank you for updating your details.