The wrist is made up of many small bones. These bones are called carpals. There are eight (8) carpal bones in the wrist. The most commonly injured carpal bone is called the scaphoid. The scaphoid bone sites under the thumb bones in the wrist. A scaphoid fracture is a break in this bone. This is a serious injury as the bone can die following a fracture. Bone death occurs due to the fracture cutting off the blood supply to the scaphoid bone. Without a blood supply the bone cannot heal or function.
A Scaphoid fracture is the result of a fall onto the hand. The fracture is sustained during sport or following an accident that results in a person landing on their hand. Children who roller blade or skateboard, along with skiers and snowboarder fracture the scaphoid commonly.
Swelling, tenderness and pain are symptoms involved with a scaphoid fracture. This is located around the bottom of the thumb where it joins the wrist. There may be bruising associated with a scaphoid fracture. While pain may reduce after the initial injury, challenges picking up and gripping things will still occur without proper treatment.
Tenderness is often felt at the bottom of the thumb where it joins the wrist. This area of the wrist is called the anatomical snuffbox. Pushing on this area may cause pain following a scaphoid fracture.
Medical imaging (x-ray etc) is needed immediately as a delay in treatment can lead to death of the scaphoid bone as stated above. If the sports chiropractors or physiotherapists at Sydney Spine & Sports Centre (S3C) suspect a fracture prompt referral will be given for x-rays or further scans. Surgery is required in some breaks. Casting is important to allow proper healing of the bone. A comprehensive rehabilitation program is advice to restore the wrist function back to normal after the healing of the scpahiod bone.
Contact the Sydney Spine & Sports Centre (S3C) for further information.