Is a scaphoid fracture serious?

By | January 17, 2022

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).

How long does it take a scaphoid fracture to heal?

The peculiarity of its blood supply is the primary reason for this prolonged healing period. Whereas other fractures in the upper extremity require an average of six weeks, a scaphoid fracture requires an average of 12 weeks if treated immediately, and as long as six months if the diagnosis is delayed.

Can you move your hand 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.

How long does a broken scaphoid hurt?

Your wrist will probably feel stiff for about a month or two after the cast is off. You might continue to have a dull ache or stiffness for about two years. Some people develop carpal tunnel syndrome after having a Colles’ wrist fracture.

Does a broken scaphoid need a cast?

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.

Do scaphoid fractures show up on xrays?

Standard X-rays may not pick up all scaphoid fractures. This is because the scaphoid bone can ‘hide’ behind the other carpal bones on an X-ray. Special scaphoid view X-rays taken with your hand and wrist in a certain position may help to show up a scaphoid fracture.

What is the fastest way to heal a scaphoid fracture?

  1. Advance therapy with gentle AROM of the wrist and gentle opposition and flexion/extension exercises to the thumb.
  2. Continue elbow and shoulder exercises.
  3. Remove the short-arm cast at 6 weeks if the fracture appears to be radiographically healed.
  4. Use a wrist splint for protection.

Does scaphoid hurt?

It is normal to have some pain off and on for approximately one year after surgery, particularly in cold weather.

What happens if you don’t treat a scaphoid fracture?

If a Scaphoid fracture does not heal, it is called a Scaphoid Fracture Non-union. If left untreated, the part of the Scaphoid that interacts with the Radius may die, which can lead to painful arthritis in the wrist, developing months to years after the initial injury.

What type of cast is used for a scaphoid fracture?

Plaster. Immobilize the wrist in a well-padded, below-elbow cast, with the wrist slightly extended, and the proximal phalanx of the thumb included in a position of slight opposition (scaphoid cast). An alternative is a radius plaster, the so-called Colles cast.

Can you work with a fractured scaphoid?

Your fracture should unite over a 6-8 week period but it can often be 3 months before you can return to heavy manual work. The fracture can take even longer to heal and patience may be required.

When does a scaphoid fracture need surgery?

Surgical treatment is indicated for non-displaced scaphoid fractures which have not healed after 6 weeks of splinting. It is also necessary for unstable scaphoid fractures and displaced scaphoid fractures. Screws are most often used to realign the scaphoid fragments via open reduction and internal fixation.

How do you know if your scaphoid is broken?

There are several different diagnostic modalities to detect a scaphoid fracture. These include conventional radiographs, computed tomography (CT scans), magnetic resonance examination, bone scintigraphy and sonograms.

Can you break your scaphoid twice?

There is no evidence that a broken bone will grow back stronger than it was before once it has healed. Although there may be a brief time when the fracture site is stronger, this is fleeting, and healed bones are capable of breaking again anywhere, including at the previous fracture site.

Do all scaphoid fractures need surgery?

Yes. If you receive proper treatment and restrict activity with your hand, a scaphoid fracture may heal without surgery. Your doctor will likely recommend casting if it appears that the bones may heal on their own. The cast immobilizes your wrist, so the pieces of bone to fuse back together.

Can a scaphoid fracture heal in 6 weeks?

Distal scaphoid fractures (closer to the thumb) can heal much quicker (6 weeks) however fractures in the proximal aspect of the scaphoid (further away from the thumb) can take much longer (3 months or more) to heal.

Can a scaphoid fracture go unnoticed?

Sometimes, it does not even show up on an X-Ray. If a scaphoid fracture goes undetected or if treatment is delayed, it can result in permanent and irreversible damage to the wrist.

Can a CT scan miss a scaphoid fracture?

This is supported by the fact that scaphoid fractures relatively commonly lead to non-union due to the limited vascularization of the scaphoid bone. Therefore, additional imaging such as MRI, bone scintigraphy or CT scanning is frequently used in order not to miss the diagnosis [2, 3] .

What is a snuff box test?

Anatomic snuffbox tenderness is a highly sensitive test for scaphoid fracture, whereas scaphoid compression pain and tenderness of the scaphoid tubercle tend to be more specific. … Nondisplaced proximal, medial, and displaced fractures warrant referral to an orthopedic subspecialist.

What is a Pisiform fracture?

Pisiform Fractures are rare carpal fractures associated with falls on an outstretched hand.

Can you sprain your scaphoid?

Scaphoid fractures usually cause pain and swelling at the base of the thumb. The pain may be severe when you move your thumb or wrist, or when you try to grip something. In some cases, the pain is not severe and the fracture may be mistaken for a sprain, although a sprained wrist is actually quite rare.

Should thumb be immobilized with scaphoid fracture?

In conclusion, this study demonstrated that, for nondisplaced scaphoid waist fractures, wrist immobilization is crucial to limiting fracture displacement. However, immobilization of the thumb metacarpophalangeal joint does not contribute to fracture stability under physiologic loading.

Will scaphoid fracture heal on its own?

Conclusion Subacute scaphoid fractures (presenting within 6 months from injury) can be expected to successfully heal with casting alone, even if the initial diagnosis is delayed.

How do you cast a scaphoid fracture?

cast includes the proximal phalanx of thumb w/ wrist in 10 deg flexion and radial deviation to provide compression & radial deviation of the fragments;

  1. volar upward pressure is applied on the distal pole of the scaphoid.
  2. dorsal downward pressure is applied on the capitate;

Can the scaphoid bone be removed?

Surgery can also be done in stages. Removal of the damaged scaphoid and a four corner-fusion allow for some wrist motion to be saved. Alternately, the affected row of carpal (wrist) bones can be removed completely. Further treatment failure may lead to total fusion of the wrist joint.

What is the treatment 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 a splint?

A splint is a supportive device that protects a broken bone or injury. A splint keeps the injured part of your body still to help with pain and promote healing. Some splints are flexible and some are rigid.

What’s the worst bone to break?

Here are 10 of the worst bone fractures you could get.

  • Skull. …
  • Wrist. …
  • Hip. …
  • Rib. …
  • Ankle. …
  • Pelvis. A fracture in the pelvis can be life-threatening, just like hip fractures. …
  • Tailbone. A tailbone fracture can make life difficult, and there is no way to hold the fractured tailbone in place. …
  • Elbow. A broken elbow is very painful.

Can scaphoid 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 scaphoid 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.