Short 4th and 5th metacarpals
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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
- 1. Dahnert W. Radiology Review Manual, 5th edition. Lippincott, Williams and Wilkins 2003
- 2. Weissleder R. et al Primer of Diagnostic Imaging, 3rd edition, Mosby 2003