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Scaphoid fracture: treatment and rehabilitation

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

A break in a part of the bone structure is called a fracture. These bone disorders usually occur in accidents in sports or cars, although they could also happen due to a fall, a blow, osteoporosis, or a significant loss of bone mass.

The scaphoid is one of the small bones that are located in the wrist and is one of the most likely to break if you suffered a blow or an accident since this bone is on the same side as the thumb, that is, where this part of the body can flex.

An injury to the site can be quickly identified as it can hurt with movement or simply when you touch the area. If you know or suspect that you have this disorder, you must see a doctor urgently. If you want to know a little more about scaphoid fracture: treatment and rehabilitation at FastlyHealwe wish to give you a little information.

Nonsurgical treatment of scaphoid fracture

The treatment of the scaphoid fracture will depend on the degree of injury you have and what the professional considers necessary for your condition.

If your scaphoid fracture is near the thumb, they usually heal on their own with adequate protection within a few weeks. This is because there is an excellent blood supply in this part of the bone, which is necessary for the bone to consolidate again.

The specialist will likely place a cast on your arm and hand, mainly from below the elbow to the thumb, which may or may not be included, as required. The time you need to use this varies, so you must visit your doctor periodically so that he can confirm the right moment when the bone has already healed.

If your fracture is near the forearm or in the middle of the bone, the union is usually a little more complicated since the blood supply is not as good as at the beginning; however, it can also be fixed with a cast, although in this case the thumb is included and extends up to the shoulder.

Surgical treatment of scaphoid fracture

If your scaphoid fracture is in the neck of the bone, in the center, or its proximal pole, in the forearm, the doctor may choose to perform surgery to solve the problem.

In these cases, you will use metal implants to hold the affected bone structure in place so that it can fully weld properly. Generally, screws or wires are used, and how they will be located will depend on the location and shape of the fracture, although this is done only in injuries where the bone is divided in two.

When the fracture breaks the scaphoid into more than two pieces, you will likely need a bone graft placed around the broken part and, in this way, it will help you stimulate the healing of the fracture because it increases the production of the broken bone.

Scaphoid fracture rehabilitation

Whether the treatment requires surgery, it would help if you always used that until the fracture heals, lasting approximately six months. During that time, you must avoid performing some actions unless the specialist approves it, for example:

  • Avoid pushing objects, carrying heavy items, carrying, throwing, or pulling.
  • It would help if you did not climb stairs.
  • You do not have to do any sports, mainly contact ones.
  • Do not do risky activities that may involve a fall, such as jumping or skating.

After the time elapses and the doctor authorizes you to remove the cast, it is likely that your arm or wrist will feel hard. This is why you must perform different exercises such as scaphoid fracture rehabilitation to regain movement and strength, both in the fingers and in the wrist; However, many people do not have the same strength as before, so you should consult with the specialist to indicate the most convenient exercises for you and the routine that best suits you.


One of the complications that can happen to you is that the bone does not consolidate, called nonunion. This may be due to insufficient blood supply, as the bones need this component to carry oxygen and different nutrients to the injured site. If this happens to you, your doctor will likely recommend surgery to place a bone graft.

The scaphoid fracture can involve a break in several parts of the bone, and, when this happens, the fragments could move and not get correct irrigation to one of them, causing the cells of that fragment to die. This condition is known as avascular necrosis, and bone graft with blood supply is necessary for these alterations.

Osteoarthritis is another complication that can suffer from time in nonunion or avascular necrosis. This disorder includes constant pain in the wrist, intensifying discomfort in the area with activities such as lifting, and the range of motion of the wrist is markedly reduced. If this happens to you, treatment will be linked to reducing symptoms, including taking anti-inflammatories and wearing a splint. On the other hand, the specialist can inject steroids into the site to relieve pain, and if none of this works, you will have to agree to surgery.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Scaphoid fracture: treatment and rehabilitation, we recommend that you enter our category of Bones, Joints and Muscles .

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