Elephant's ear sign: a new radiographic finding indicative of acetabular retroversion

Arthroplast Today. 2020 Jan 11;6(1):59-61. doi: 10.1016/j.artd.2019.12.007. eCollection 2020 Mar.


Acetabular retroversion is a relatively common condition affecting the hip that can result in symptoms in some patients. Diagnosis of acetabular retroversion relies on obtaining a proper anteroposterior radiograph of the pelvis. Cross-over, posterior wall, and ischial spine signs are usually present in patients on the radiographs of patients with acetabular retroversion. In this illustrative case report, we describe an additional radiographic sign, elephant's ear sign, associated with acetabular retroversion that we have seen to be present in patients with acetabular retroversion. A review of 26 acetabular retroversion case series by 2 independent reviewers showed 100% consensus on the presence of elephant's ear sign in patients with evidence of all other radiographic signs of this hip abnormality. This simple and previously unreported radiographic Elephant's ear sign, in which flared iliac wings appear as elephant's ears, highlights the presence of acetabular retroversion.

Keywords: Acetabular retroversion; Elephant’s ear sign; Hip; Radiographs.