Emergency Department and Minor Injury Unit
You have been given this information because you have been diagnosed with a possible fracture of the scaphoid bone.
The scaphoid bone is one of the small bones at the base of the hand and sits below the thumb. It can be fractured by a fall onto an outstretched hand or if the wrist is forcibly bent back.
The doctor or practitioner that saw you today felt that you might have a fracture based on their examination of your hand. However, your x-ray showed no evidence of this.
We know that initial x-rays of a patient with a scaphoid fracture can be normal, so you have been placed in a wrist splint just in case there is a fracture.
You have been given an appointment for one of our review clinics at either The James Cook University Hospital or at Redcar Minor Injuries Unit in approximately 3 weeks time. At that appointment you will be seen by one of our consultants who will listen to you and examine you. If we are still concerned then you may have a repeat x-ray of the scaphoid bone.
Usually if there is a fracture present then this (or some evidence of a healing fracture) will be visible on that repeat x-ray. However, if the x-ray is normal the doctor who sees you will discuss the possible diagnoses and the management options available.
Your follow up
We take this type of injury extremely seriously to ensure we do not miss a fracture. Some scaphoid fractures can take a long time to heal or need surgery. Our aim is to avoid long term complications such as pain or impaired function of the hand and wrist.
- If your pain settles before your follow up appointment then you can cancel your appointment by contacting the relevant department by telephone. When your wrist is pain free the likelihood of you having any ongoing problem is extremely small.
- If your pain is still ongoing at the time of your appointment it is important that you attend the follow up appointment that you have been given. If you cannot make this appointment for some reason please contact the relevant department by telephone to cancel and we can give you a more convenient appointment time.
If needed, painkiller options include the following:
Paracetamol is usually recommended for painful sprains or strains.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) relieve pain and may also limit inflammation and swelling. You can buy some types (for example, ibuprofen) at pharmacies, without a prescription either topically as a cream, or as tablets.
You should check the medication advice leaflet to ensure you are safe to take these as some patients with asthma or stomach ulcers may not be able to.
- The James Cook University Hospital, Marton Road, Middlesbrough, TS4 3BW
Telephone: 01642 850850
- The Friarage, Northallerton, North Yorkshire, DL6 1JG
Telephone: 01609 779911
- Redcar Primary Care Hospital, West Dyke Road, Redcar, TS10 4NW
Telephone: 01642 511000
South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust would like your feedback. If you wish to share your experience about your care and treatment or on behalf of a patient, please contact The Patient Experience Department who will advise you on how best to do this.
This service is based at The James Cook University Hospital but also covers the Friarage Hospital in Northallerton, our community hospitals and community health services.