Scaphoid fractures of the wrist - Thumbay University Hospital

Scaphoid fractures of the wrist

A Scaphoid fracture is a fracture of one of the small bones of the wrist. This type of fracture often occurs after a fall on an outstretched hand. Symptoms of a Scaphoid fractures fracture usually include pain and tenderness in the area just below the base of the thumb. These symptoms may worsen when you try to pinch or hold something.


Treatment for a Scaphoid fractures fracture can range from orthosis to surgery, depending on the severity of the fracture and its location on the bone. Because parts of the Scaphoid fractures bone have a poor blood supply—and a fracture can further disrupt blood flow to the bone—complications of the healing process are common.

A reason

A boat fracture usually occurs when you fall onto an outstretched hand, with your weight landing on the palm of your hand. The end of the greater forearm bone (radius) may also break in this type of fall, depending on the position of the hand when descending.

Injury can also occur during sports activities or motor vehicle collisions.

Naval fractures occur in people of all ages, including children, and there are no specific risk factors or diseases that make you more likely to have a scaphoid fractures fracture. Some studies have shown that using wrist guards during high-energy activities such as snowboarding and snowboarding can help reduce your chance of breaking a bone around your wrist.


Scaphoid fractures usually cause pain and swelling in the anatomical snuff box and on the thumb side of the wrist. The pain may be severe when you move your thumb or wrist, or when you try to pinch or grip something.

Unless your wrist is deformed, it may not be obvious that your Scaphoid fractures bone is broken. With some canoe fractures, the pain is not severe and may be mistakenly thought of as a sprained wrist.

Pain in your wrist that doesn’t go away within a day of the injury could be a sign of a fracture – so it’s important to see a doctor if the pain persists. Prompt treatment of a scaphoid fracture will help to avoid potential complications.

Doctor’s Examination

Physical examination

During the examination, your doctor will talk to you about your general health and will ask you to describe your symptoms. The doctor will want to know how your injury occurred.

Your doctor will examine your wrist. With most fractures, there will be tenderness directly above the canoe in the anatomical snuff box. Your doctor will also look for:

  • swelling
  • bruising
  • loss of movement
  • the exams

X rays provide images of the dense structures, such as bones. Your doctor will order an X-ray to help determine if you have a scaphoid fracture and whether the broken pieces of bone have displaced. An X-ray will also help the doctor determine if you have any other fractures.

In some cases, a scaphoid fracture doesn’t show up on an X-ray right away. If your doctor suspects you have a fracture but it’s not visible on an X-ray, he or she may recommend that you wear a wrist splint or cast for 2 to 3 weeks and then come back for a follow-up X-ray. Often, scaphoid fractures become visible only on X-rays after a period of time. During this waiting period, you should wear a cast or cast and avoid activities that may cause further injury.

1. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

Your doctor may order an MRI to learn more about the bones and the soft tissues in your wrist. An MRI can sometimes show a fractured canal before it can be seen on an X-ray.

2. Computerized tomography (CT) scan

A CT scan can be useful in detecting a fracture of the scaphoid bone and can also show whether the bones have displaced. Your doctor will use the information from the CT scan to help determine your treatment plan.


The treatment your doctor recommends depends on a number of factors, including:

  • The site of the fracture in bone
  • Whether the bone fragments have been displaced
  • Since when did you get injured?

Non-surgical treatment

A fracture near the thumb

Canoe fractures closest to the thumb (distal pole) usually heal within weeks with proper protection and restricted activity. This part of the scaphoid bone has a good blood supply, which is essential for healing.

For this type of fracture, your doctor may place your forearm and hand in a cast or splint. The cast or splint is usually just below the elbow and includes your thumb.

Recovery time varies from patient to patient

Your doctor will monitor your recovery with periodic X-rays or other imaging studies.

Fracture near the forearm

If the cane is broken in the middle of the bone (waist) or near the forearm (proximal pole), healing may be more difficult. These areas of the scapula do not have a very good blood supply.

If your doctor treats this type of fracture with a splint, the cast may include the thumb and extend over the elbow to help stabilize the fracture.

Bone stimulator

In some cases, your doctor may recommend the use of a bone stimulator to help fracture heal. This small device delivers low-intensity or pulsed electromagnetic waves that stimulate healing.

Surgical treatment

If the canoe is broken at the waist or proximal pole, or if pieces of bone are displaced, your doctor may recommend surgery. The goal of surgery is to realign and stabilize the fracture, giving it a better chance of healing.


During this procedure, your doctor will administer an anesthetic or anesthetic and put the bones back into their proper position. In some cases, this is done using a limited incision and special guided tools. In other cases, it is performed through an open incision with the direct manipulation of the fracture. For some fractures, your doctor may use a small camera called an “arthroscope” to help reduce them.