The Natural History of a Missed Scaphoid Fracture

Gijsbert D. Musters, Karine M. van Scherpenzeel, Simon D. Strackee, J. Carel Goslings


Scaphoid fractures are known to be a difficult diagnosis since they can be accompanied by unspecific physical complaints. Furthermore, they are difficult to visualize on standard x-ray examinations. The purpose of this report is to stress the importance of adequate diagnosis and treatment of scaphoid fractures. We describe a 50-year old female, with progressive wrist pain after a skiing accident, who was diagnosed with an untreated scaphoid fracture. This scaphoid fracture had developed into a scaphoid non-union advanced collapse of the wrist. The scaphoid non-union advanced collapse was treated with a four-corner arthrodesis and a Wafer procedure, which ultimately led to an acceptable situation. This report presents a rare complication of a missed scaphoid fracture. X-rays of the wrist commonly fail to demonstrate fractures of the scaphoid bone. Therefore more invasive imaging techniques must be used to diagnose a scaphoid fracture.

J Med Cases. 2011;2(6):246-247


Scaphoid; Fracture; Non-union; Diagnosis; SNAC wrist

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