A scaphoid fracture is a type of bone fracture that occurs in the scaphoid bone, which is a small, boat-shaped bone located in the wrist. The scaphoid bone is important because it connects the two rows of bones in the wrist, and helps to transfer force and movement from the hand to the arm.
Scaphoid fractures are relatively common and typically occur as a result of a fall onto an outstretched hand or a direct blow to the wrist. Symptoms of a scaphoid fracture may include pain, tenderness, swelling, and difficulty moving the wrist and hand.
common causes of scaphoid fractures include:
Direct blow to the wrist: A strong impact to the wrist can result in a scaphoid fracture.
Repetitive stress: Activities that involve repetitive stress on the wrist, such as playing certain sports or performing manual labor, can increase the risk of developing a scaphoid fracture.
Osteoporosis: Weakened bones due to osteoporosis can increase the risk of developing a scaphoid fracture.
Previous wrist injuries: A history of previous wrist injuries, particularly those that have not fully healed, can increase the risk of developing a scaphoid fracture.
The treatment for a scaphoid fracture depends on the severity and location of the fracture. In general, treatment options for a scaphoid fracture may include:
Immobilization: If the fracture is not displaced and is located in the middle or lower portion of the bone, a cast or brace may be used to immobilize the wrist and allow the bone to heal. Immobilization may be necessary for up to 12 weeks.
Surgery: If the fracture is displaced, located in the proximal portion of the bone (near the thumb), or has not healed after several weeks of immobilization, surgery may be necessary to realign and stabilize the bone. Surgery may involve the use of screws, pins, or wires to hold the bone in place.
Pain management: Pain management may involve the use of over-the-counter or prescription pain medication to help manage pain and discomfort during the healing process.
Physical therapy: Once the bone has healed, physical therapy may be recommended to help improve strength, flexibility, and range of motion in the wrist and hand.
Symptoms of a scaphoid fracture may include:
Pain: Pain is the most common symptom of a scaphoid fracture, particularly when gripping or twisting the wrist.
Swelling: Swelling may occur around the wrist and hand.
Tenderness: Tenderness may be felt at the base of the thumb or on the back of the wrist, particularly over the scaphoid bone.