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Fresh fractures of the scaphoid : A rationale method of treatment

Author(s): Chari P

Journal: Indian Journal of Orthopaedics
ISSN 0019-5413

Volume: 40;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 250;
Date: 2006;
Original page

Keywords: Carpal scaphoid; Displaced fractures through waist; Management.

Background : Scaphoid, among all carpal bones, is very vulnerable for fracture due to its unique shape and situation with greater articular surface. All scaphoid fractures are being treated with below elbow POP thumb spica casts keeping hand in ball throwing position. A few scaphoid fractures through the waist take longer time to unite, if not end in nonunion. These fractures were found to be displaced unimpacted trans-scaphoid fractures through the waist. Method : The effect of various positions of hand, wrist and forearm over unimpacted displaced scaphoid fractures through the waist were studied on dissected hand specimens and in patients with skiagrams. It was observed that possible radial deviation of hand over neutrally held wrist and forearm would result in anatomical reduction with impaction between the fragments. Added compression effect at site of fracture, necessary for early fracture healing, is produced by passively abducting the first metacarpal bone. Results : Of 68 scaphoid fractures under study, 24 and 41 were displaced and undisplaced ones through the waist respectively. All of them united in eight to ten weeks time as any fracture, when immobilised undisturbed with anatomic reduction and added compression between the fragments except one displaced fracture which took eight more weeks of immobilization for union and revascularilization of proximal fragment. Conclusion : This study showed that all scaphoid fractures in particular those through waist when rigidly immobilized unite as any fracture in eight to ten weeks provided the proximal fragment maintains proper blood supply. Otherwise it would further eight week of immobilization for the proximal fragment to get revascularize following union.
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