A scaphoid fracture is a break of the carpal bones in your wrist. The scaphoid bone is located where your wrist bends on the thumb side of your hand.
A scaphoid fracture can occur when you fall on an outstretched arm and land with your weight on your palm. It causes pain in the thumb and wrist.
The best way for athletes to prevent a wrist fracture is to wear wrist guards when:
To make an appointment or learn more about scaphoid fractures, contact UPMC Sports Medicine at 1-855-93-SPORT (77678).
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Symptoms of a scaphoid wrist fracture may include:
Your wrist may not look like it's broken, and not everyone has severe pain with a scaphoid fracture.
If you have pain that lasts for a few days, call your doctor.
To diagnose a scaphoid fracture, your doctor will conduct a physical exam. He or she will ask about the injury and your symptoms.
To confirm a scaphoid fracture diagnosis — and rule out a more serious wrist injury — your doctor might request an x-ray.
If your x-ray is positive, you will need either nonsurgical or surgical scaphoid fracture treatment.
To make an appointment or learn more about scaphoid fracture symptoms, contact UPMC Sports Medicine at 1-855-93-SPORT (77678).
If the fracture happens near your thumb, wearing a splint or cast for four to six weeks is often enough to allow the bone time to heal.
At UPMC Sports Medicine, your doctor will track the healing process with routine x-rays or CT scans of your wrist.
If the fracture is near the middle of your wrist or toward your forearm, you may need scaphoid fracture surgery.
A break in this middle area doesn’t allow enough blood supply to flow to the fractured bone, which it needs to heal.
During scaphoid fracture surgery, your doctor will:
You will be in a cast for weeks or even months after surgery until the bone heals.
Whether you had scaphoid fracture surgery or nonsurgical treatment — after your doctor removes your cast or splint — you will need to avoid:
Most wrist fractures require some form of rehab for a full recovery.
Your doctor may prescribe physical therapy to help:
To make an appointment for scaphoid fracture treatment, contact UPMC Sports Medicine at 1-855-93-SPORT (77678).
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