Scaphoid Injuries and Conditions

Introduction

Eight small bones comprise the wrist. A fracture to the wrist is technically a break in the bone. When a fracture occurs in the wrist, it is often the result of a fall onto an outstretched arm. The impact against the hand causes energy to travel through the wrist, resulting in a fracture. Due to its location, wrist fractures typically occur at the scaphoid, the first bone next to the radius bone on the thumb side of the wrist.

A fracture to the scaphoid can be either a non-displaced fracture, meaning the bone fragments line up properly, or a displaced fracture leaving gaps between the bone and the pieces of bone overlap one another. Symptoms often include pain, swelling, tender to touch, and mild bruising. Additionally, it is difficult to move the thumb or wrist without experiencing pain. This condition can occur in all ages and, depending on the position of the fall, the radius can suffer damage as well. A scaphoid fracture is one that can be missed, even by x-ray, therefore it is important to seek care with a specialist if there is persisting pain or limited function.

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