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Case report
Handlebar sign: a bruise with underlying visceral injury


A 14-year-old boy presented with a painful swelling topped by a bruise overlying the skin of the right inguinal region without peritonitis. This was the area of impact of bicycle handlebar while riding 6 days ago. On contrast-enhanced CT scan, we found a traumatic abdominal wall hernia (handlebar hernia) near the right deep ring without any solid organ, bowel or urinary bladder injury. Inguinal exploration revealed a defect in transversus abdominis and internal oblique muscle which was repaired and meshplasty was done.

Delayed presentation and ignorance towards ‘handlebar sign’ is associated with visceral injury (haematoma/perforation) will incur the risk of rising morbidity and mortality. With CT scan we can assess the abdominal cavity to rule out associated visceral or vascular injury. Surgical repair for restoring disrupted anatomy with or without meshplasty is the preferred approach.

  • trauma
  • accidents, injuries
  • radiology

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