Hawkins sign (talus)

The Hawkins sign describes subchondral lucency of the talar dome seen in AP view that occurs secondary to subchondral atrophy 6-8 weeks after a talar neck fracture 1.

This indicates that there is sufficient vascularity in the talus, and is therefore unlikely to develop avascular necrosis of the talar dome later 2,3.

Disruption of the blood supply to all or a portion of the talar dome results in absence of the Hawkins sign (seen as subchondral sclerosis), which usually indicates underlying avascular necrosis 4.

History and etymology

The sign is named after Leland G Hawkins (1933-1991) 5, an American orthopedic surgeon. He also established the Hawkins classification of talar neck fractures which helps in risk assessment of avascular necrosis of the talar dome.

Article information

rID: 18237
Section: Signs
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Hawkins sign in talar neck fractures
  • Hawkins' sign

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Cases and figures

  • Case 1: radiograph
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  • Case 1: CT
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