• Scaphoid fracture


    Scaphoid fracture is a complete or incomplete break of the scaphoid bone of the hand and wrist. The scaphoid bone has poor blood supply and is at high risk of not healing.

    Common signs and symptoms

    • Usually, severe pain at the time of injury
    • Pain, tenderness, swelling and occasionally bruising around the fracture site
    • Numbness, coldness, and swelling in the hand, causing pressure on the blood vessels or nerves (uncommon)


    If the bone ends are in appropriate alignment (position), the initial treatment consists of ice and elevation of the injured hand at or above heart level to reduce swelling. Pain medications help to relieve pain. Immobilization by splinting or casting for an average of 4 to 5 months is usually recommended to protect the bones while they heal. For fractures that are displaced (out of alignment), surgery is usually recommended.

    Surgery may also be recommended for nondisplaced fractures. Surgery usually involves placement of removable pins or screws. After immobilization (with or without surgery), stretching and strengthening of the injured and weakened joint and surrounding muscles (due to the injury and the immobilization) are necessary. These may be done with or without the assistance of an occupational or physical therapist or athletic trainer. Occasionally, depending on the sport and position, a brace or splint may be recommended when initially returning to sports.

    More on fractures