If you fracture your wrist, it’s often the scaphoid bone that’s affected. At Central Jersey Hand Surgery, with offices in Freehold, Eatontown, and Toms River, New Jersey, the expert surgeons help with the diagnosis and repair of this bone. Call today if you have pain in your wrist, particularly when you pinch or grasp an item. Alternatively, book your appointment using the online scheduler.
The scaphoid or navicular bone is one of eight carpal tunnel bones at the wrist. It’s on the thumb-side of the wrist, just above the radius. You use the scaphoid for motion and stability in the wrist joint. If you have a scaphoid fracture, you’ll likely feel tenderness or pain in the base of the thumb and when you try to grasp or pinch.
Two types of scaphoid fractures can occur. You may have a non-displaced fracture, in which the bone fragments line up correctly, or a displaced fracture, in which the bone fragments have moved away from each other or overlap.
Scaphoid fractures often don’t show up on an X-ray, making them hard to diagnose. It is an injury that may be missed in the emergency room or walk-in clinic. Plus, this bone has a poor blood supply, so it doesn’t heal quickly or efficiently. Damage to the scaphoid can lead to osteoarthritis in the hand.
If you have pain in your wrist following a fall, it can be hard to determine if you have a fracture in the scaphoid. You may feel like you have a simple wrist sprain. But if your pain doesn’t subside within a day or two of injury, it’s a possible fracture, and you should contact Central Jersey Hand Surgery for evaluation. Prompt treatment can prevent complications.
Usually, the scaphoid breaks when you fall on an outstretched hand with an extended wrist. You’ll experience pain and a decreased range of motion. Swelling and bruising are also possible.
People of all ages can experience a scaphoid fracture, but it occurs most frequently in young men.
For non-displaced fractures, a cast for 6 - 12 weeks can heal a non-displaced fracture. In many cases of displaced fractures, surgery using a small incision and screw to unite the fractured pieces of the bone is necessary.
For a displaced fracture, your surgeon inserts a screw into the scaphoid through a 2-inch incision made in the top or bottom of the wrist (depending on the fracture’s location). In some cases, this procedure requires a bone graft. You wear a short arm thumb splint immediately after surgery; this is replaced by a cast a few weeks later.
The surgeons at Central Jersey Hand Surgery are experts in treating the variety of fractures that occur in the scaphoid. Call today if you suspect this injury or book an appointment online.