Scaphoid fractures account for nearly three-quarters of carpal injuries and result from violent hyperextension of the wrist.
Fracture of the scaphoid:
- should be suspected in any fall on an outstretched hand
- is more common in young adults than in children and the elderly
The scaphoid bridges the proximal and distal rows of carpal bones and is subject to severe loading from forced carpal movement and compression when the wrist is abruptly hyperextended.
Three fractures sites are recognised:
- through the waist:
- the most narrow part of the scaphoid
- most common
- through the proximal pole
- through the tubercle
The condition was once more commonly known as "Chauffeur's fracture" since it often resulted when a car backfired whilst still holding the starting crank handle.