Teardrop sign (ankle)

Last revised by Andrew Murphy on 15 May 2023

The ankle teardrop sign is one of the radiological signs of an ankle joint effusion. It represents the presence of excess fluid in the inferior part of the anterior compartment of the ankle.



Radiographic features

Plain radiograph

This sign is appreciated on a lateral ankle radiograph, and is seen as a teardrop-shaped opacity that extends anteriorly from the tibiotalar joint and continues along the neck of the talus.

See also

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Cases and figures

  • Figure 1: ankle tear drop sign (illustration)
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  • Case 1
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  • Case 2
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  • Case 3
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