Dorsal fat pad sign (wrist)

A positive dorsal fat pad or stripe sign is defined as a convex dorsal displacement of the dorsal fat pad of the wrist. A positive sign may indicate a distal radius fracture. Is it best visualized on the lateral view of the wrist.


The normal dorsal skin subcutaneous fat pad is a thin concave, curvilinear collection of fat overlying the dorsal aspect of the carpus. It is located between the dorsal extensor tendons and the joint capsule. Radiolucency of the dorsal fat pad is normal when concave or curvilinear. 

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Article information

rID: 63394
Section: Signs
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Wrist fat pads
  • Dorsal skin cutaneous fat stripe sign
  • Dorsal skin cutaneous fat pad sign
  • Dorsal fat stripe sign

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