Positive metacarpal sign

Last revised by Rania Adel Anan on 16 Aug 2023

In the metacarpal sign, a line drawn along the heads of the 4th and 5th metacarpals will intersect the head of the 3rd metacarpal if shortening is present. The shortened 4th metacarpal is the key to the sign.

The sign is positive in up to 9.6% of normal individuals 3. It is however seen in a variety of conditions.

For a gamut of this sign see: short 4th/5th metacarpal.

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