See below for before and after photos. This patient came to Action Rehab with a traditional cast. We were able to fit them with a lightweight waterproof functional brace.
Conveniently located throughout Melbourne and Gippsland
No referral needed
If you’ve injured or are experiencing discomfort, pain or swelling around the base of the thumb and into the wrist, you’ve come to the right place.
Within 24 hours
Urgent Care Required
Suggest X-ray, suggest CT
Thermoplastic wrist water proof orthosis full time. 6 weeks. CT at 6 weeks to determine healing. Core strengthening program commenced once CT confirms healing.
WHAT IS A SCAPHOID FRACTURE?
The scaphoid is the most commonly fractured carpal bone. The majority of Scaphoid Fractures we look after have occurred after the patient has fallen on an outstretched hand.
Most people experience pain or swelling around the base of the thumb and into the wrist.
In many cases, there are no visible deformities. People often dismiss the problem as a sprain and don’t seek proper medical attention and advice until the discomfort gets too much.
DIAGNOSING SCAPHOID FRACTURE
A fractured scaphoid is a common wrist injury, many may think of it as a fractured wrist, or simply a sprained wrist. The cause is a fall on an outstretched hand where undue load is distributed through the wrist causing the small scaphoid bone to fracture or break.
Most people experience pain or swelling around the base of the thumb and into the wrist (the anatomical snuff box) with a fractured scaphoid. In many cases it’s likely there will be no visible deformity and many dismiss the problem as a sprain and fail to seek proper medical attention and advice leading to the development of other issues.
It’s also a common injury in sporting codes like football, basketball, netball and many other sports where impact to the wrist can cause a fracture in the scaphoid. People under 50 years old are actually more likely to fracture their scaphoid in a fall on to their hand and wrist than to break their radius or ulnar (the other two wrist bones). Scaphoid fractures can vary from mild hairline fractures or more serious injury that requires surgery. Expert early diagnosis is really important in scaphoid fractures.
Our Hand Therapists, Physiotherapists and Occupational Therapists are experienced in reading X-rays and CT’s for Scaphoid Fracture and they will be able to guide your treatment depending on the severity of your Scaphoid Fracture.
Call us on 1300 762 227 for an appointment, or schedule an appointment online by clicking the button below.
Our Physiotherapists and Occupational Therapists have extensive knowledge and experience in assessing, diagnosing, treating, and managing your hand and upper extremity – your shoulder, elbow, wrist, and hand – injuries or conditions, so you know you’re in good hands.
The hand therapists at Action Rehab are experienced in the assessment and treatment of scaphoid fractures. With a reputation endorsed by sporting organisations like the Melbourne Football Club, Action Rehab is the smart choice for treating your scaphoid fracture.
Get on the road to recovery, so you can do the things you love.
SCAPHOID FRACTURE TREATMENT
Without careful assessment and treatment, serious complications can arise. To help you to heal and minimise complications it is important to seek referral to a Hand Therapist, Physiotherapist or Occupational Therapist at Action Rehab.
Action Rehab hand therapists can assess, advise, and treat broken scaphoids and seek specialist surgical opinion when required. Our therapists have the ability to read X-rays and CT scans and the Hand Therapist at Action Rehab can assess medical imagery deciding the most appropriate treatment plan for your Scaphoid Fracture.
Poorly managed, a scaphoid fracture may never heal creating problems later in life and the possible need for reconstructive surgery. It’s these complications that make your decision to visit a hand therapist at Action Rehab so important. It’s so you get the right brace/splint/cast, treatment, therapy, and exercises for the specific scaphoid fracture you have.
Because of its location, blood supply, and possible damage to blood vessels around the broken scaphoid can cause the healing process to slow, sometimes taking months. Depending on the damage, a broken scaphoid may respond differently and those with a non-displaced injury may be placed in a cast or splint where recovery times could be around 6-8 weeks.
Hopefully, you will never wear a “cast” for a scaphoid fracture. Modern technology and treatment mean that we no longer need to tolerate a plaster or fibreglass “cast” and patients are much happier and much more comfortable when treated in a thermoplastic water resistant “cast” or splint that can be worn 100% of the time (just like a traditional “cast”) Some patients and Dr’s think “splint” means removal but in fact, at Action Rehab, we can fabricate a “splint” that works just like a really light “cast” and the patient experience is improved.
Movement of the thumb with supination and pronation have not been shown to be detrimental to the healing of the scaphoid in conservatively treated fractures, McAdams’ (2003) & Schramm et al (2008)
At Action Rehab, we can fabricate a “splint” that works just like a really light “cast”. Patient experience is much improved with the thumb free to mobilise.
See below the two treatment approaches for a patient who has a Scaphoid Fracture and needs treatment.
Traditionally ALL patients are told to wear a “cast” for a Scaphoid Fracture and this can be uncomfortable, bulky and unnecessary.
Fig 1: Basic Treatment
Fig 2: Action Rehab Treatment
If a Scaphoid Fracture is stable (and most are) then a custom, lightweight, water resistant thermoplastic “cast” or “splint” with the thumb free to mobilise will be fabricated by your Hand Therapist at Action Rehab.
DOES A SCAPHOID FRACTURE REQUIRE SURGERY?
A stable scaphoid fracture without displacement CAN be treated without surgery.
It is important to have a thorough assessment with your Hand Therapist as soon as you suspect a Scaphoid Fracture or a fall on the outstretched hand. Your Hand Therapist, Physiotherapist or Occupational Therapist at Action Rehab can read and understand your X-ray and your CT, they can assess the stability of the fracture and the need for immobilisation, thumb in or out. In the rare cases of Scaphoid Fracture where surgery is indicated then your Hand Therapist at Action Rehab can refer you to the appropriate surgeon to continue your care. Some scaphoid fractures do not require plaster and stable fractures may only require a wrist brace with no thumb immobilisation and no plaster required. Our Hand Therapists at Action Rehab are experienced in Scaphoid Fracture treatment and can offer you advice and management if you suspect you may have this injury.
To Book Call Us On 1300 762 227
Call us on 1300 762 227 for an appointment, or schedule an appointment online by clicking the button below.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT THERAPIST FOR SCAPHOID FRACTURE
Scaphoid Fracture is complex and can lead to serious complications and frustrations if not treated appropriately.
Choosing the right Hand Therapist starts with them being able to read your X-rays and then fabricate the right brace for you. The therapists at Action Rehab are experienced in assessing and reading X-rays and assessing your Scaphoid Fracture.
Our therapists do regular GP and Emergency Doctor training and can advise on the most appropriate action for your Scaphoid Fracture treatment.
SCAPHOID FRACTURE FAQS
Scaphoid fractures predominantly occur in young, active individuals, most commonly resulting from a fall on the outstretched hand. The scaphoid bone is the most important carpal bone in your wrist. Scaphoid fractures account for 79% of carpal fractures making it the most commonly injured bone in young adults.
This depends on how it is managed and assessed. Some Scaphoid Fractures can lead to non union and never heal causing other wrist problems and need reconstructive surgery. An undisplaced fracture of the scaphoid waist or distal (closer to the thumb) will most likely heal within 8 weeks in a well fitting wrist splint (cast). A distal pole fracture of the scaphoid will actually heal even faster than that and may heal within 6 weeks if managed in a well fitting splint (cast). Some scaphoid fractures are more complicated and your Hand Therapist at Action Rehab will be able to assess and advise on the management of the fracture and where required we can refer you to an appropriate surgeon who will operate on the scaphoid bone where required. A surgically repaired scaphoid should heal within 8 weeks as long as the repair is stable.
Yes, an undisplaced scaphoid fracture can heal without surgery as long as it is managed well in a splint. A displaced fracture or a fracture proximal (nearer the wrist) to the waist of the scaphoid generally needs surgical assessment and may require surgery to assist with healing. Post surgery a scaphoid is considered stable so the treatment is then the same as for non-surgical scaphoid fracture.
This depends on where the fracture/break is, treatment varies from the level of the fracture tip to toe however generally if the fracture is stable or has been stabilised with surgery then functional treatment in a water resistant wrist splint/cast (that can be removed if requested or can be secured to not be removed if it is indicated) with the thumb free to mobilise is how it is managed at Action Rehab. Exercises will start as soon as the fracture is healing (usually 6-8 weeks post injury) and strengthening will commence once the fracture is considered “healed”. It is important to assess a Scaphoid Fracture healing by performing a CT scan normally at the 8 week mark post injury. A CT scan will show the degree of healing but is unlikely to show “complete” union at the 8 week stage. Generally where there is a bridge on “union” measured on the CT then the fracture is likely to continue to heal and will not lead to “non union” which is the main complication of a scaphoid fracture.
Generally, the answer is no. However, where there is significant displacement of the fracture or the fracture is in the Proximal third of the bone then surgery is indicated. Surgery can also speed recovery in some cases and in those proximal pole fractures then a surgical assessment is important. Action Rehab hand therapists are able to read X-rays and CT scans and can advise where a surgical opinion is required.
The fastest way to heal a scaphoid fracture is with expert assessment of the fracture type and then balancing rest in a splint/cast with gentle movement and micro stress.
Yes if a scaphoid fracture is left untreated or poorly managed in a cast or fibreglass thumb spica can lead to serious complications, bone graft surgery, wrist reconstruction, bone removal. It is a really important bone in the wrist and needs the experts at Action Rehab hand therapy to assess and advise.
Hopefully you never wear a “cast” for a scaphoid fracture. Modern technology and treatment mean that we no longer need to tolerate a plaster or fibreglass “cast” and patients are much happier and much more comfortable when treated in a thermoplastic water resistant “cast” or splint that can be worn 100% of the time (just like a traditional “cast”. Some Dr’s think “splint” means removal but in fact, at Action Rehab, we can fabricate a “splint” that works just like a really light “cast” and the patient experience is much better and the treatment outcomes and healing are actually faster.
BOOK AN APPOINTMENT NOW
Action Rehab provide assessment and treatment for all conditions relating to the upper limb, including scaphoid fractures. Come and see our highly qualified and friendly staff today at a location convenient to you.