Short 4th and 5th metacarpals

Case contributed by Associate Professor Donna D'Souza

Shortening of the 4th and 5th metacarpals.

Case Discussion

Also called the metacarpal sign, shortening of the 4th and 5th metacarpals is present when a line drawn at a tangent to their heads intersects the 3rd metacarpal. The commonest causes areidiopathic, post-traumatic, Turner’s syndrome, pseudohypoparathyroidism, pseudopseudohypoparathyroidism and basal cell nevus syndrome. In this case an old fracture of the 5th metacarpal suggests the cause may be previous trauma. 

Image courtesy of Dr Donna D'Souza

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Case information

rID: 7575
Published: 10th Nov 2009
Last edited: 13th Aug 2019
Tag: hand
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included