Subtle radial neck fracture

Case contributed by Dr Balint Botz


Sustained a fall.

Patient Data

Age: 70 years
Gender: Female
  • striking anterior fat pad sign indicating elbow joint effusion
  • cortical breach along the circumference of the radial neck, adjacent sclerotic band caused by a discrete impaction
Annotated image

Key images:

  • anterior fat pad sign
  • broken cortex (arrows)
  • sclerotic band due to impaction (arrowheads)

Case Discussion

The anterior fat pad sign should be taken as hard evidence of trauma, necessitating careful scrutiny and high level of suspicion. 

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