Ankle teardrop sign

Case contributed by Dr Ivan Turkalj


Ankle sprain 10 days ago; now ankle pain and swelling around the lateral malleolus.

Patient Data

Age: 50 years
Gender: Female

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

No evidence of fracture or 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 a lateral x-ray projection in the neutral position.  

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Case information

rID: 47484
Published: 17th Aug 2016
Last edited: 14th Aug 2019
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included

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