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Scaphoid Fracture


A scaphoid fracture is a break in one of the small bones of your wrist. It is usually caused by a fall on an outstretched hand. It may also be caused by trauma, such as a car accident.



  • NSAIDs , such as ibuprofen, help decrease swelling, pain, and fever. This medicine is available with or without a doctor's order. NSAIDs can cause stomach bleeding or kidney problems in certain people. If you take blood thinner medicine, always ask if NSAIDs are safe for you. Always read the medicine label and follow directions. Do not give these medicines to children under 6 months of age without direction from your child's healthcare provider.
  • Prescription pain medicine may be given. Ask your healthcare provider how to take this medicine safely.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Follow up with your healthcare provider or orthopedic specialist as directed:

You will need to return for more x-rays to check how your wrist is healing. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Manage your symptoms and promote healing:

  • Apply ice on your wrist for 15 to 20 minutes every hour, or as directed. Use an ice pack, or put crushed ice in a plastic bag. Cover it with a towel. Ice helps prevent tissue damage, and decreases pain and swelling.
  • Elevate your wrist above the level of your heart as often as you can. This will help decrease pain and swelling. Prop your wrist on pillows or blankets to keep it elevated comfortably.

Do not smoke:

If you smoke, it is never too late to quit. Smoking can slow healing. Ask your healthcare provider for information if you need help quitting.

Physical or occupational therapy:

You may need physical or occupational therapy after your bone heals. A therapist can teach you exercises to help improve movement and strength, and to decrease pain.

Contact your healthcare provider or orthopedic specialist if:

  • You have questions or concerns about your care.

Return to the emergency department if:

  • Your fingers or thumb tingle, or feel numb.
  • Your fingers or thumb become cold, or turn blue or white.
  • You have severe pain in your hand or wrist, or your pain worsens.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Learn more about Scaphoid Fracture (Aftercare Instructions)

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