Elbow effusion: the fat pads

Case contributed by Dr Ian Bickle


Soldier in training. Two week history of elbow pain, especially on performing sit ups.

Patient Data

Age: 25 years
Gender: Male

Both the anterior and posterior fats pads are elevated.  The posterior fat pad in particular is well illustrated.

No bony abnormality.  No soft tissue calcification.

Annotated image

The lifted anterior fat pad (red arrows) and posterior fat pad (blue arrows) indicated a joint effusion.

Case Discussion

The majority of elbow effusions occur in the context of a fracture.  In this case the effusion relates to repeated localized trauma.

Nevertheless it does well illustrate raised fat pads of the elbow indicating a joint effusion.

PlayAdd to Share

Case information

rID: 59706
Published: 21st Apr 2018
Last edited: 14th Aug 2019
Tag: tutong
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included
Institution: Rotherham Foundation Hospital Trust

Updating… Please wait.

 Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

 Thank you for updating your details.