Hatchet sign (ankylosing spondylitis)

Last revised by Dr Daniel J Bell on 30 Oct 2019

Hatchet sign refers to the limited erosion of the lateral aspect of the humeral head that produces a hatchet-shaped deformity. This finding is typically associated with ankylosing spondylitis.

In the absence of osteoporosis and the presence of sclerosis, this sign helps to differentiate it from rheumatoid arthritis.

Differential diagnosis

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Cases and figures

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