Carpal bones are the eight small bones located in the wrist. Scaphoid fractures are among the most common carpal bone injuries. The scaphoid is located at the base of the thumb. This type of fracture typically occurs when a person falls on an outstretched hand. It is often mistaken for a wrist sprain. Pain and swelling at the wrist can be signs of a scaphoid fracture.
Pain that does not go away completely after a few days should be evaluated. The doctor may use X-ray, computerized tomography (CT) scan, bone scan or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to diagnose a carpal bone injury. A cast or surgery may be necessary. Untreated scaphoid fractures may result in:
- Carpal malalignment
- Permanent loss of blood supply to the bone