What Are Scaphoid Fractures?

The scaphoid is one of the eight small carpal (wrist) bones. It is typically fractured due to a fall on an outstretched hand. Symptoms of scaphoid fractures include pain and tenderness—especially when pinching or holding an object—near the base of the thumb. Treatment depends on the severity and location of the fracture.

How Are Scaphoid Fractures Treated?

Non-displaced fractures (fractures where the fractured bone does not loose its alignment) are typically treated conservatively. Nonsurgical treatment consists of immobilization—a brace, splint, or cast holds the arm, wrist, and hand in place while the fractured bone heals. Displaced fractures (fractures where the fractured bone loses alignment) may require surgery. Surgical treatment consists of a reduction and fixation procedure—the pieces of broken bone are aligned and a small compression screw is used to hold them together so they can heal. In some cases, bone graft is used to promote bone healing and growth.