Bilateral joint elbow effusions

Case contributed by Bruno Di Muzio


Fall from bicycle. Painful both elbows.

Patient Data

Age: 35 years
Gender: Male

Bilateral elbows radiography series


Bilateral radial metaphyseal/radius neck fractures with no significant displacement. No evidence of malalignment. Fat pad displacement inferring joint effusions bilaterally.

Case Discussion

Bilateral sail sign referring to the triangular appearance of the displaced low density anterior fat pads in keeping with bilateral elbow joint effusions

It is important to note that, even when a fracture cannot be identified, the presence of a joint effusion in adults should be treated as a non-displaced radial head fracture.

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