The scaphoid bone is a bone on the thumb side of the wrist, located just above the radius. It is important both for motion and stability in the wrist joint. Scaphoid fractures are nearly always caused when people use their hands to brace themselves when falling.
However, car accidents and other types of trauma can also cause scaphoid fractures.
Roughly 70% of people with this problem will require surgery to repair the impacted bone. Some common signs that your scaphoid is fractured are:
Undergoing surgery is usually the best option when the ends of the scaphoid bone are displaced. This is problematic for multiple reasons – if left apart, the pieces of the scaphoid might not join back together, or if the pieces heal improperly, the patient will experience pain and complications over time. Surgery to repair a fractured scaphoid is usually an outpatient procedure, which means that the patient can go home the same day.
Depending on the fracture type, the surgeon will make the incision on the front or back of the wrist, which will be used to get access to the scaphoid to line up the fracture and place a metal screw to hold it in place. The procedure will usually take approximately one hour, as it is not a complex one. The surgeon may need a bone graft to help repair the defects in the bone, and, most of the time, this bone graft will be harvested from the same arm through a tiny incision near the wrist.
Following scaphoid fracture surgery, the patient will have to wear a splint on the injured wrist for 8 to 12 weeks. They will be able to resume activity within 10 to 12 weeks of the surgery. The doctor may recommend occupational therapy at some point during the recovery process, which will help the patient improve the range of motion in their wrist so that they can get back to their daily activities.