Halberd pelvis

Last revised by Daniel J Bell on 6 Jan 2020

A halberd pelvis refers to a pathognomonic appearance of the pelvis seen in metatropic dysplasia, a rare form of spondyloepimetaphyseal dysplasia.

  • hypoplastic ilia with narrow sacrosciatic notches
  • horizontal acetabular roofs with small associated notches superior to their lateral borders
  • prominent flaring of crescentic iliac wings

History and etymology

The appearance is thought to resemble a halberd, a two-handed pole weapon that was in popular use in central Europe from the 14th to 16th centuries. The halberd comprises an almost 2 meter long shaft, ending in a lengthened spiked head. Before the spike is the blade of an axe, with an opposed hook-like pick. It remains the ceremonial weapon of the Swiss Guard in the Vatican, the pope's bodyguard 1,2.

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