Radial head osteophytes (Coyle's view)

Case contributed by Amanda Er


Fell on to left side from a standing height, with complaints of pain and limited range of movement over the left elbow.

Patient Data

Age: 60 years
Gender: Male

Normal alignment is preserved with no evidence of acute displaced fracture. Mild bony irregularity at the radial head and neck may be due to degenerative changes or less likely, a fracture.

Further assessment with a Coyle's view was performed. Osteophytes are noted at the radial head and neck, with no displaced fracture seen.

Case Discussion

This case is an example of an elbow series comprising of the AP elbow, lateral elbow and Coyle's views. Although no acute pathology is demonstrated, it is imperative that readers note the chronic pathology (i.e. osteophytes) present.

Note: This examination places more emphasis on the importance of an optimally positioned Coyle's view. Suboptimal positioning of the AP and lateral elbow images is accounted for by this particular patient's limited range of movement extending to the shoulder joint and has only been included for case completeness. Optimal positioning technique should still be the main aim when imaging the elbow.

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