Is my growth pattern normal?



I am sorry to bother you but I have noticed some strange things happening with my growth and I have a few questions. I am 16 years old and 5’9″. My mom is 5’6″ and my dad is 6 feet tall. I also have an older brother who is around 6′ 1″. I got a growth spurt at 10.5 years old where I grew roughly 5 inches in a year and since then I have grown around 4 inches per year since then. However, from 14 to 15 I grew only 2 inches. Now, from 15 to 16, I have barely grown an inch. This is a bit confusing to me as I am only 5’9″ and I feel like my parents are both above average so I should be as well. My Tanner stage is somewhere between 4.2 to 4.5. I was wondering if this was a normal growth pattern. When I look at my growth chart it shows that I was on track to be roughly 6 feet but have fallen off the curve. How much more should I expect to grow? 

Thanks and God bless!


To figure out what is going on, I took your numbers and have down that you had one year growing 5 inches, three years growing 4 inches, one year growing 2 inches, and one year growing 1 inch. That comes to a total of 20 inches. Thus, I conclude that at 10 you were 49 inches tall, which puts you at the 5% level on the CDC Growth Chart for Boys. This means you were shorter than most of your peers at age 10. By 16 you are at the 50% level. That seems to indicate that your body was making up for lost growth during childhood.

Your growth pattern indicates that you entered stage 4 somewhere around 14 or 15. That should mean you were in stage 3 starting around 12 or 13. That should also mean that you were in stage 2 starting at age 10. However, growing 9 inches in stage 2 is unusual.

I would normally conclude that you had something holding you back when you were young, such as poor nutrition or severe disease. Once that problem was resolved, your body worked to make up for the lost time. If you didn’t have a problem when you were younger, then you definitely had an unusual growth pattern.

Boys born to your parents should reach a minimum adult height of 5’9″, which you have reached. If your estimate is accurate, you have about another year before your growth stops. In that time, it will continue to get progressively slower, so I would expect you only to grow another 0.5 inches or so in this last year.