Metaphyseal blanch sign

The metaphyseal blanch sign (or metaphyseal blanch sign of Steel) is one of the signs seen on AP views of the adolescent hip indicating posterior displacement of the capital epiphysis.

It is a crescent-shaped area of increased density, that overlies the metaphysis adjacent to the physis on the AP radiograph. It is caused by superposition of the femoral neck and the posteriorly displaced capital epiphysis.

A lateral radiograph is indicated to confirm or exclude the suspected diagnosis.

History and etymology

Howard Haldeman Steel (1921-2018) was an American pediatric orthopedic surgeon, who described the sign in an article published in 1986 .

See also