A fracture of the scaphoid bone in the wrist. It is commonly caused by a fall onto the outstretched arm, forcibly bending the hand upward and backward. The impact drives the scaphoid back into the radius. Clinical signs are often conspicuous by their absence, but pain is usually felt in the ‘snuff-box’ area defined by the tendons near the thumb. This injury is quite common among young participants of contact sports and activities that have a high risk of falling. A carponavicular fracture is sometimes misdiagnosed as a wrist sprain and goes untreated. X-ray diagnosis is required to distinguish a wrist sprain from a carponavicular fracture. If a fracture is untreated, the bone will probably not heal properly, resulting in long-term wrist problems. The initial treatment of a suspected fracture or wrist sprain includes putting the forearm and wrist in a splint, gently applying ice, and obtaining medical assistance. Subsequent treatment of a confirmed fracture includes immobilization and, for a displaced bone, surgical repositioning. Recovery time is quite long: it may take up to four months for a displaced fracture to heal, and it is generally advised to protect the wrist during sports for a further 3 months.
A wrist fracture commonly caused by a fall onto an outstretched arm. Reproduced with permission http://www.xtreme-action-images.com.
Subjects: Sports and Exercise Medicine.