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At Slocum Center, our orthopedic surgeons specialize in fracture care. We have been performing orthopedic surgery, such as fracture repair, for more than forty years. That means your procedure will be performed by a team whose experience and training are unparalleled Eugene, the surrounding areas of Oregon, and throughout the Northwest.

The scaphoid bone is unique because it spans two rows of the wrist's carpal bones. One row is closer to the forearm (proximal row) and the other closer to the hand (distal row). Because of its position, the scaphoid bone is at extra risk during injury, which accounts for it being the most commonly fractured carpal bone.

Cause

Fracture of the scaphoid bone occurs most frequently from a fall onto an outstretched hand. It is common for people who have fractured this bone to not be aware of the injury until months or years after the event. Though there is initial pain, it may decrease after days or weeks. Bruising is rare, and swelling may be minimal. Since there is no deformity, many people with this injury mistakenly assume that they have just sprained their wrist, leading to a delay in seeking evaluation.

Prevention

The best way to avoid a scaphoid fracture is to use proper protective gear whenever possible. Wrist guards are particularly useful during sports such as rollerblading, snowboarding and other sports where falls are common.

Treatment

A simple, nondisplaced fracture may be treated with cast immobilization. X-rays are repeated over several weeks or months, so the physician can watch for healing. It usually takes at least 10 to 12 weeks for the scaphoid to heal itself. If it does not heal, surgery is usually recommended. For displaced fractures, as well as some nondisplaced fractures, surgery is performed initially to improve the bone's ability to heal and to minimize the time spent in a cast. With surgery, the bone is fixed in place with a screw. Sometimes a bone graft may also be used. After surgery, a cast is frequently employed to immobilize the scaphoid.

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