Scaphoid Fracture, Wrist

ExitCare ImageA fracture is a break in the bone. The bone you have broken often does not show up as a fracture on x-ray until later on in the healing phase. This bone is called the scaphoid bone. With this bone, your caregiver will often cast or splint your wrist as though it is fractured, even if a fracture is not seen on the x-ray. This is often done with wrist injuries in which there is tenderness at the base of the thumb. An x-ray at 1-3 weeks after your injury may confirm this fracture. A cast or splint is used to protect and keep your injured bone in good position for healing. The cast or splint will be on generally for about 6 to 16 weeks, depending on your health, age, the fracture location and how quickly you heal. Another name for the scaphoid bone is the navicular bone.

HOME CARE INSTRUCTIONS

  • To lessen the swelling and pain, keep the injured part elevated above your heart while sitting or lying down.

  • Apply ice to the injury for 15-20 minutes, 03-04 times per day while awake, for 2 days. Put the ice in a plastic bag and place a thin towel between the bag of ice and your cast.

  • If you have a plaster or fiberglass cast or splint:

  • Do not try to scratch the skin under the cast using sharp or pointed objects.

  • Check the skin around the cast every day. You may put lotion on any red or sore areas.

  • Keep your cast or splint dry and clean.

  • If you have a plaster splint:

  • Wear the splint as directed.

  • You may loosen the elastic bandage around the splint if your fingers become numb, tingle, or turn cold or blue.

  • If you have been put in a removable splint, wear and use as directed.

  • Do not put pressure on any part of your cast or splint; it may deform or break. Rest your cast or splint only on a pillow the first 24 hours until it is fully hardened.

  • Your cast or splint can be protected during bathing with a plastic bag. Do not lower the cast or splint into water.

  • Only take over-the-counter or prescription medicines for pain, discomfort, or fever as directed by your caregiver.

  • If your caregiver has given you a follow up appointment, it is very important to keep that appointment. Not keeping the appointment could result in chronic pain and decreased function. If there is any problem keeping the appointment, you must call back to this facility for assistance.

SEEK IMMEDIATE MEDICAL CARE IF:

  • Your cast gets damaged, wet or breaks.

  • You have continued severe pain or more swelling than you did before the cast or splint was put on.

  • Your skin or nails below the injury turn blue or gray, or feel cold or numb.

  • You have tingling or burning pain in your fingers or increasing pain with movement of your fingers