Posterior fat pad sign (elbow)
Citation, DOI & article data
The posterior fat pad sign is the visualization of a lucent crescent of fat located in the olecranon fossa on a true lateral view of an elbow joint with the elbow flexed at a right angle indicating an elbow joint effusion. Normally, the posterior fat pad will not be seen in this view ref.
In the setting of trauma, it suggests an occult non-displaced fracture. In children, it most often indicates a supracondylar fracture, other common fractures are those of the proximal ulna, lateral condyle, and radial neck 2. In adults, look for a radial head fracture ref.
- 1. Goswami GK. The fat pad sign. Radiology. 2002;222 (2): 419-20. doi:10.1148/radiol.2222000365 - Pubmed citation
- 2. Skaggs D & Mirzayan R. The Posterior Fat Pad Sign in Association with Occult Fracture of the Elbow in Children*†. The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery. 1999;81(10):1429-33. doi:10.2106/00004623-199910000-00007 - Pubmed