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Scaphoid, the worst of the carpal bone fractures

At Healthspace Clinics in Burwood, we find that many people who fall on their outstretched hands, whether they are playing sport or walking down the street, tend to fracture a structure most commonly known as the scaphoid bone (located above the thumb).

The scaphoid has a very important role in connecting the wrist to the thumb and thus is responsible for range of motion and movement of the thumb. A patient who has a suspected scaphoid fracture will point out pain and swelling in the region, and thus a physiotherapy consultation will be needed for further evaluation.

The physiotherapist will perform the normal protocols that involve looking at, above and below the point of pain, palpating and assessing range of motion and special tests. The typical signs of scaphoid fracture include:

·      Fall on outstretched hand

·      Snuff box tenderness

·      Clear swelling

·      Pain with and without movement

At this point a physio will recommend an x-ray, which most of the time will return as negative in the acute stage, it is thought that the other carpal bones hide the extent of a scaphoid fracture on the films. Research suggests the x-ray should be re-performed 10-14 days after the accident, and in the interim the wrist should be casted if there is a suspected scaphoid fracture to avoid further problems.

Along with casting at this stage, a recent article in 2015 investigated scaphoid fracture and the use of ultrasound the increase the healing rate. It concluded that ultrasound on the fracture site can be used to produce molecular and cellular changes, therefore increasing the healing process. This process was successful in 22 out of 29 patients with scaphoid fractures.

Our highly experienced physios at Healthspace clinics in Burwood will not only help to control your pain and symptoms in your wrist injury, but also will help to increase healing rate and rate of returning to work or sport.

See the physiotherapists at Shop 2, 5 Wilga St. Burwood or call (02) 9745 3700 to learn more or attain physio treatment for your scaphoid or carpal bone injury.

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