The scaphoid is one of the eight small bones that make up the wrist joint, located at the base of the thumb. This bone may be fractured as a result of a fall on an outstretched hand, or from other types of injury or trauma. It often occurs as a result of an athletic injury, and is most common in men between the ages of 20 and 30 years old.
This type of injury causes pain and swelling within the wrist, usually in the area at the base of the thumb. This pain may worsen when the hand grips something. Dr. Chao can diagnose a scaphoid fracture through an X-ray. In some cases, the initial X-ray may not exhibit signs of a fracture, but a second exam performed after a week or two of immobilization can confirm the diagnosis.
Most scaphoid fractures can be successfully treated through conservative methods such as casting, icing, compression garments and anti-inflammatory medications. Surgery may be required for more severe fractures, especially those where the bone is broken in the middle or closer to the forearm, where healing is often more difficult.
Surgical repair of a scaphoid fracture involves the use screws or wires to stabilize the bone and hold it in place during healing. The best treatment for each individual fracture depends on the location and severity of the fracture, as well as the age and overall health of the patient.