elbow fat pad sign
film showing elbow fat pad sign
Definition A soft tissue sign of intra-articular haemorrhage of the elbow, and often also of intra-articular fracture, especially of the radial head in adults. Fat is normally present within the elbow’s joint capsule but outside the synovium.
Typically “hidden” in the concavity of the olecranon and coronoid fossae, fat is rarely visible on lateral films. However, injuries that produce intra-articular haemorrhage distend the synovium and force the fat out of the fossa, producing triangular radiolucent shadows anterior and posterior to the distal end of the humerus.