A fractured scaphoid is a break in a small bone in the wrist.
The scaphoid may break when someone holds out a hand to stop a fall. Doctors are very careful with the scaphoid bone because sometimes it has trouble healing.
When someone has wrist pain after a fall, doctors use X-rays to look for a fracture. Sometimes a fracture of the scaphoid is hard to see on regular X-rays because of the bone's shape, and a special test or visit to an orthopedic doctor (bone specialist) is needed.
A fractured scaphoid usually heals well with a splint or cast, which hold the pieces of bone in place. A splint is like a cast and gives support to the hand, but is soft part of the way around to allow room for swelling.
Some fractures that do not heal well on their own may need surgery to bring the broken pieces of bone together, but this is rare.
All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.
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