Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Scaphoid

On Friday, 3/25, I had a little traffic whoops. I was thrown from my scooter via an Acura MDX and broke my ulna and split my scaphoid. This is apparently bad news, but not an uncommon break. I had never heard of this bone, but it is "one of the carpal bones of the wrist. It is situated between the hand and forearm on the thumb-side of the wrist. The scaphoid bone is the largest bone of the proximal row of wrist bones, its long axis being from above downward, lateralward, and forward. It is approximately the size and shape of a medium sized cashew." The most unfortunate part of breaking this bone is the healing rate. "The scaphoid can be slow to heal because of the limited circulation to the bone. It receives its blood supply primarily from lateral and distal branches of the radial artery. Fortunately, it is relatively difficult to break, but is the most commonly fractured bone in the carpus (although i was one of four in the ER for it that day), particularly because of its unique anatomy and position within the wrist. Approximately 60% of carpal fractures are scaphoids." It was stabilized with a Herbert screw, named for English orthopaedic surgeon Timothy Herbert. A Herbert screw "is a variable pitch cannulated screw typically made from titanium for its stainless properties as the screw is normally intended to remain in the patient indefinitely. It became generally available in 1978"

Information from Wikipedia, Honda Passport C70 photo by Joshua Hoffman. X-photo c/o NC Specialty Hospitals

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