Ankle tear drop sign

Case contributed by Dr Ivan Turkalj


50-year old women admitted to ER due to ankle sprain 10 days ago. She was complaining of ankle pain and swelling around the lateral malleolus.

Patient Data

Age: 50
Gender: Female

Ill defined oval opacity in projection of anterior recess (so called "ankle teardrop sign") of the left ankle joint, in keeping with joint effusion.

No evidence of fracture and dislocation.

Case Discussion

The teardrop-shaped opacity represents fluid in the inferior space of the anterior compartment of the ankle joint.

It has been postulated that at least 5 ml of effusion is needed in order to depict it using lateral x-ray projection in the neutral position.  

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Case information

rID: 47484
Case created: 17th Aug 2016
Last edited: 3rd Nov 2016
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included

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