Scaphoid Fracture | Te Whatu Ora | Health New Zealand | Hauora a Toi Bay of Plenty
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What has happened?

  • You may have broken a small bone in the palm of your hand
  • These types of breaks are often hard to see on x-ray initially and are placed into a cast until you can be seen in the orthopaedic clinic

What should I expect?

  • Your hand may be swollen and sore, and you may notice some bruising develop on your fingers - this is normal
  • You will be put into a cast in the Emergency Department (ED) - this will stay on until you are seen by the orthopaedic team
  • You will likely be in a cast for 8 weeks, occasionally longer
  • If your injury was not treated with an operation, you will likely be able to return to sport and heavy physical labour after 12 weeks

What should I do?

  • You may require simple pain relief (e.g. paracetamol and ibuprofen)
  • Elevating the hand may also help with swelling and pain - you can do this by placing your hand on 1-2 pillows while sitting or sleeping
  • Keep your cast dry by covering it with a plastic bag and securing it with tape before showering - a wet cast will get soggy and fall apart
  • While in the cast, keep moving your fingers by bending and straightening them

What should I not do?

  • Do not use your injured hand for lifting heavy objects
  • Try to reduce or stop smoking as this may delay bone healing

Will I be followed up?

  • Yes, a follow-up appointment in the Orthopaedic Clinic will be requested when you leave the Emergency Department (ED) and you will be contacted about a date and time

What if I have concerns/questions?

  • If your injury is not settling or you have other concerns, you should see your GP first - take your ACC form/number with you
  • Please seek medical attention if you experience the following:
    • Increasing pain in the hand
    • Numbness or tingling in the hand
    • Your fingers go cold or turn blue white, in comparison to the other hand
    • You are unable to move your fingers