Is a broken scaphoid?

Asked by: Donna Hall  |  Last update: 18 June 2021
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A scaphoid (navicular) fracture is a break in one of the small bones of the wrist. This type of fracture occurs most often after a fall onto an outstretched hand. Symptoms of a scaphoid fracture typically include pain and tenderness in the area just below the base of the thumb.

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Also to know, Can you move your wrist with a scaphoid fracture?

Most people with a scaphoid fracture (which is the same as a broken wrist) will have pain and/or swelling along the thumb side of the wrist within days following a fall. Because there is no visible deformity and no difficulty with motion, many people with this injury assume that it is a wrist sprain.

Similarly, it is asked, What does a broken scaphoid feel like?. A fractured scaphoid normally produces pain on the thumb side of the wrist joint. Usually, when a bone is broken intense pain is felt, however, in the case of a fractured scaphoid this pain may not be very strong and the injury may feel more like a wrist sprain.

Furthermore, Is a scaphoid fracture serious?

Scaphoid fractures that are not diagnosed and treated are in danger of developing two serious complications: Nonunion—when the bone fragments heal improperly or incompletely. Avascular necrosis—when the fracture causes blood supply to be cut off to part or all of the bone, causing the bone tissue to die.

How long does it take for a scaphoid fracture to heal?

Healing: Average time to union of the scaphoid is twelve weeks. Depending on the rigidity of the bone fixation and need for bone graft, the wrist may be casted for four, six, eight or 12 weeks.

28 related questions found

Can you drive with a broken scaphoid?

When can I return to work and driving after plaster treatment? Return to an office job is possible within the confines of the plaster, however most insurance companies will not let you drive. Manual work will be impossible until after the cast is off and the scaphoid has healed.

How long do you wear a cast for a scaphoid fracture?

Whether your treatment is surgical or nonsurgical, you may be required to wear a cast or splint for up to 6 months or until your fracture has healed. Unlike most other fractures, scaphoid fractures tend to heal slowly.

Does a scaphoid fracture need a cast?

These factors can make it common for the diagnosis to be delayed for weeks, months or occasionally even years after the initial injury because this injury can be overlooked or thought to be a common wrist sprain. Scaphoid fractures will require casting or surgery.

What do they do for a broken scaphoid?

There are two general approaches for treatment of a scaphoid fracture: cast immobilization or surgical stabilization. As long as the scaphoid fracture is not displaced (out of position), cast immobilization is a very reasonable treatment. The cast must extend over your thumb to limit the mobility of your thumb.

What is the fastest way to heal a broken scaphoid?

Screw Fixation

Some surgeons report good results doing surgery right away when a patient has had a recent, nondisplaced scaphoid fracture. Studies have shown that this method can help people get back to activity faster than wearing a cast for up to 12 weeks.

Can you fracture your scaphoid without knowing?

Scaphoid fractures often aren't always obvious and can be hard to diagnose. The most common symptom is pain and tenderness over the anatomic snuffbox. The pain is often mild. It may get worse with pinching and gripping.

Is the scaphoid easy to break?

It is the most common carpal bone to break (fracture). A scaphoid fracture is usually caused by a fall on to an outstretched hand. Symptoms can include pain and swelling around the wrist. Diagnosis of a scaphoid fracture can sometimes be difficult, as not all show up on X-rays.

Can a scaphoid fracture heal in 4 weeks?

The majority heal uneventfully after four to six weeks of immobilization, depending on fracture type. In general, proximal scaphoid fractures should be treated with internal fixation.

What happens if a scaphoid fracture is left untreated?

A scaphoid fracture can lead to wrist osteoarthritis, especially if the fracture is untreated and does not heal correctly. This is called “nonunion.” Severe cases of this kind of osteoarthritis can lead to an incorrect alignment of wrist bones in what is called scaphoid nonunion advanced collapse (SNAC).

What happens when your scaphoid bone dies?

Avascular necrosis occurs when part of the scaphoid bone dies because of the loss of blood flow. This can eventually result in fragmentation and the collapse of the bone. Its presence also makes repair of the scaphoid much more difficult. An MRI scan can be helpful to check for avascular necrosis.

Why are scaphoid fractures missed?

Conclusions: Most of these scaphoid fractures were missed due to failure to consider the possibility of a scaphoid fracture and search for clinical signs of this injury. Some were missed due to failure to detect (or absence of) tenderness over the scaphoid bone.

What type of cast is used for a scaphoid fracture?

In instances where casts are used, the typical recommendation is for immobilization between 9-12 weeks [4, 5] with some advocating the use of a long arm thumb spica cast (LATSC) for 4-6 weeks followed by a short arm thumb spica cast (SATSC) for an additional 6-8 weeks [6, 7].

What is a splint for scaphoid fracture?

Once there is clinical healing on radiographs, the immobilization phase is usually over. Typically a thumb spica orthosis is then used for comfort and protection. The 3pp Ez FIT ThumSpica Splint is ideal for protection of the wrist and thumb following a scaphoid fracture.

At what age does the scaphoid develop?

Ossification of the scaphoid begins between age 5 to 6 years and is complete between 13 to 15 years of age. Before ossification is complete, the scaphoid is almost entirely cartilaginous. Throughout this ossification period, fractures of the scaphoid are less common.