A scaphoid fracture is a break in one of the small bones in the wrist. This small bone is one the carpal bones on the thumb side of the wrist. It is central to the mobility and stability in the wrist.
Causes and risk factors
- Most often occurs by landing on an outstretched hand
- Sport activities
- Automobile accident
- These fractures occur in people of all ages
- Pain and swelling on the thumb side of the wrist
- Severe pain when wrist or thumb is moved
- Loss of motion in the area
- Increased wrist pain after more than a day
Diagnosis and treatment
Your doctor will examine your wrist for any swelling, bruising, and loss of motion, as well as tenderness to the area. Sometimes an x-ray will be taken, although they are not always able to detect scaphoid fractures. A splint may be recommended and healing time can vary depending on severity of the fracture. In the case that your wrist will not stabilize on its own, surgery to the area may be discussed with your orthopedic surgeon.