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Scaphoid fracture

What is a scaphoid fracture?

There are eight small bones within the wrist. A commonly broken bone is the scaphoid bone, which is shaped like a kidney bean and can be tricky to heal.

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What are the symptoms of a scaphoid fracture?

  • Pain and/or swelling along the thumb side of the wrist within days following a fall.


How is a scaphoid fracture diagnosed?

Your consultant hand and wrist surgeon will usually diagnose a scaphoid fracture by good clinical examination, high index of suspicion, x-ray of the wrist. Sometimes x-rays can be reported as normal so continued symptoms require an urgent MRI scan, which is the gold standard.

How is a scaphoid fracture treated?

  • Early identification and cast treatment can lead to good results in 85% of fractures at the waist (middle) of the bone.

  • Presenting late, smoking and fractures close to the radius (proximal pole fractures) have a higher incidence of not healing (non-union).

  • Sometimes, if left untreated chronic injury can lead to arthritis of the wrist.

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