Scaphoid Fracture


Surgical Options

When the scaphoid is broken at the wrist or proxial pole, your doctor may recommend surgery. During the procedure, a screw or wire is used to stabilize the scaphoid while the bone heals. A cast is usually placed on the wrist after surgery. Even with surgery, fractures in this area can take a long time to heal.

If the scaphoid fails to heal properly, bone grafts may be required to help the bone heal. Bone grafts can be taken from the forearm or the pelvis or it may be manufactured bone. In some situations a special kind of bone graft that has its own blood supply is used to promote growth and reconnection of the bone.


Once surgery is complete, you will wear a cast or splint to promote healing. A cast may be required for up to six months. During this recovery period, you need to avoid heavy lifting, carrying, pushing, pulling or throwing objects using the injured arm. You can't participate in contact sports and you have to avoid all activities where you could risk falling onto the hand.

Some people who've had a scaphoid fracture report stiffness in the wrist. This is common when a cast was needed and worn for a long time or when the surgery was performed through an incision. Physical therapy may be required to help the wrist regain its strength and range of motion. However, even with therapy, you may never recover the same motion and strength that the wrist had before the injury.

For causes, symptoms and non-surgical treatment options, click here.

If you have questions about surgical options or want to make an appointment with one of our sports medicine experts to discuss your condition, please contact our Patient Care Coordinators and they'll be happy to help you.