Scaphoid Wrist Fracture: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment

Scaphoid or Navicular fracture is a medical condition that occurs with the breakage of one or more of the small bones present in the wrist and the base of the thumb. The wrist joint is formed where the two bones of the forearm namely ulna and radius meet the eight small sized carpal bones. The carpals are placed in two rows at the base of the hand. The scaphoid is one of these carpal bones which is located at the base of the thumb. Most scaphoid fractures occur in the middle portion of the bone.

The Scaphoid Fracture can be classified into:

  • Displaced– When the bone pieces dislocate from their normal position
  • Non-Displaced– The bone pieces are properly aligned in spite of breakage


  • Fall on an outstretched hand
  • Vehicular accidents
  • Sports injuries
  • Twisting and turning of the wrist
  • Direct blow to the wrist


  • Pain in the thumb
  • Swelling
  • Tenderness
  • Bruising, discoloration and redness
  • Pain may aggravate while trying to grasp an object
  • Deformation of the wrist joint
  • Loss of sensation
  • Restricted range of motion
  • A feeling of warmth in the hand and forearm


  • Physical examination of the injured wrist
  • Evaluation of the cause of the injury and symptoms experienced by the patient
  • Analysis of the patient’s medical history
  • X-ray imaging may be required to assess the extent of damage to the joint and displacement of bone fragments
  • CT scan or MRI may be conducted to diagnose soft tissue injuries


  • The wrist doctor may use a splint or cast to restrict the movement of the forearm and hand
  • Prescription of pain killers and anti-inflammatory medicines to provide relief from the symptoms
  • Resting the injured wrist, application of ice packs, compression with a bandage and elevation of the arm may also help to ease pain
  • Lifting weights, participating in sports and doing activities that may stress the joint should be avoided
  • Bone stimulator may be used to deliver electromagnetic waves to aid healing
  • Surgery may be recommended in case of a displaced fracture. Arthroscopic surgery may be performed to put the bone fragments back in place. Artificial implants such as screws, wires and pins may be used to hold the bone.
  • A specific set of exercises suggested by a physical therapist may help restore motion and prevent stiffness in the wrist.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *