Scaphoid Fractures

Scaphoid Fractures
December 20, 2015

scaphoid-fractureDr. Vikas Gupta a renowned name in the field of Hand & Upper Extremity Surgery, while talking on his treatment of scaphoid fractures eminently says, “Scaphoid bone lies on the thumb side of the wrist and is one of eight small bones in the wrist called carpal bones. These bones govern movements of the hand and wrist and a break in it is termed as scaphoid fracture.”

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As the first surgeon in India to perform arthroscopic assisted fixation for scaphoid fractures Dr. Gupta feels, “Scaphoid bone is the most commonly fractured carpal bone and it may happen incoherently when you fall onto your outstretched hand trying to catch something, receive any direct blow to your hand or your scaphoid bone is under repeated stress for e.g. like in gymnasts and shot putters and if you have continuous pain, swelling and bruising on the thumb side of the wrist and difficulty in gripping objects then you should consult a hand surgeon immediately.”

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Simply put by Dr. Vikas Gupta, the current Head, Shoulder and Hand Division, MAX Saket & Gurgaon, former Director of the department ‘The Hand & Upper Extremity Surgery’ The Medanta Institute of Bone & Joint Disease, Gurgaon, “Commonly when a patient breaks his scaphoid bone they might be diagnosed with just wrist sprain because there is no visible deformity and no difficulty with motion. For scaphoid fracture to heal well it is essential that it is recognized early and treated aptly for which it is essential that the patient consults a proficient surgeon who has both skill and techniques that make the healing process easy.”

Generally in non acute scaphoid fractures casting and splinting is sufficient with periodical checkups by the surgeon but acute scaphoid fractures need surgical fixation where healing depends on the efficiency and expertise of the surgeon.

After conducting more than 6000 surgeries in the hand and upper extremity Dr. Vikas Gupta needs no introduction. He is a globally acclaimed name for successfully treating his patients for scaphoid fractures of any complexity by international techniques.

  • Dr Vikas has been the first surgeon to use Herbert-whipple and twin fix screws to fix scaphoid fractures which is a difficult technique and bound to have complications especially if treated at the hands of some less skilled surgeon.
  • Dr Vikas is also the first surgeon in India to fix scaphoid percutanously (minimally invasive technique with less than a cm incision) (link to case)
  • DrVikas has been the first surgeon in India to use variable angle inter carpal fusion plate for nonunion scaphoid with degenerative changes (SNAC wrist) (link to case)

With Dr. Vikas Gupta being an eminent presence at various conferences and workshops to present lectures/ papers, some complex cases who have been treated by him believe he is one of the most efficient surgeons in this field in India today.

A patient while sharing his experience narrates “Dr. Gupta performed vascularised bone graft for nonunion scaphoid on me. It…….

<< Testimonial of patient who has undergone surgery of scaphoid fracture >>

FAQ – Scaphoid Fractures

Scaphoid fracture refers to a break in the scaphoid bone that is one of the eight carpal bones of the wrist. The break most commonly occurs at the waist i.e. middle of the scaphoid bone but is also found on the proximal and distal end.
The wrist is formed and supported by two forearm bones i.e. the radius and the ulna and eight carpal bones which are arranged in two rows at the base of the hand. Scaphoid is the bone at the thumb side of the wrist which provides both stability and motion to the wrist joint.
A fall on the outstretched hand with the weight of the body on the palm can result in scaphoid fracture. Indulgence in sports and traumatic collision (vehicle) might also cause these fractures.
The most common sign of scaphoid fracture is intense pain on the thumb side of the wrist and difficulty in grasping objects and moving the thumb or hand. Scaphoid fracture is often misinterpreted as a wrist sprain so it is essential to look out for visible deformity in the wrist which enforces the presence of scaphoid break.
People of all ages are susceptible to scaphoid fractures, even children. They can only be prevented by wearing wrist guards around the wrist to avoid injuries during falls or collision.
After complete evaluation of medical history the doctor ensures the mechanism of injury. He then moves ahead with the physical examination to look for visible signs and then to further the prognosis might recommend an X-ray, MRI or CT scan of the wrist joint.
The treatment depends on the location or the severity of the fracture. The non displaced fractures are effectively treated with protective guards such as splints or casts and bone stimulating device.
In severe cases the surgeon might undertake arthroscopic repair, open or closed reduction and internal fixation technique by holding the bones together with the help of fixators or metal hardware.
Another applied technique is bone grafting under which a new bone from another part of the body is placed near the damaged bone to stimulate bone production and heal the fracture.
Scaphoid fractures tend to heal slower in comparison to other fractures. The surgeon may restrict the activities of the patient and curb him from any activity that might put the wrist under pressure. Gentle exercises to keep moving the fingers will be prescribed by the surgeon to protect them from becoming stiff and numb. Despite therapy and recommendations by the surgeon, it takes a long time for the wrist to regain complete mobility.
Posted in Condition & Treatments by admin