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Percutaneous fixation of acute scaphoid waist fractures: Long-term patient-reported functional outcomes and satisfaction at a mean of 11 years following surgery

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Abstract

The aim of this study was to report the long-term functional outcomes and complication rates following early percutaneous fixation of acute fractures of the scaphoid. A trauma database was searched to identify all skeletally-mature patients with an undisplaced or minimally-displaced scaphoid waist fracture managed with early percutaneous retrograde screw fixation over a thirteen-year period from 1997-2010. Medical records were retrospectively reviewed, and complications documented. Long-term follow-up was by a questionnaire-based review. The Patient-Rated Wrist Evaluation (PRWE) was the primary outcome measure. Secondary outcomes included the Quick version of the Disability of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand score (QuickDASH), the EuroQol 5-dimensions score (EQ-5D-5 L), and complications. During the study period 114 patients underwent this procedure. The mean age was 28 years (range, 17–62) and 97 patients (85%) were male. The median time from injury to surgery was nine days (range, 1–27). Twelve patients (11%) reported a complication, all of whom required repeat surgical intervention (six revision ORIF for non-union, five elective removal of hardware, one early revision fixation due to screw impingement). Long-term outcome data was available for 77 patients (68%) at mean follow-up of 11.4 years (range, 6.4–19.8). The median PRWE was 0 (IQR 0–7.5), median QuickDASH 0 (IQR 0–4.5) and median EQ-5D-5 L 1.0 (IQR 0.837–1.0). There were 97% (n = 74) patients satisfied with their outcome. Early percutaneous fixation of acute non-displaced or minimally displaced scaphoid fractures results in good long-term patient reported outcomes and health-related quality of life. Although comparable with previous studies, the overall surgical reintervention rate is notable and can result in inferior outcomes. Level of evidence Therapeutic level III (Retrospective Cohort Study).

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Purpose: We compared robotic-assisted scaphoid screw fixation to conventional technique in terms of accuracy, surgical times, radiation exposure, and clinical outcomes, including range of motion, grip strength, functional score, and complications. Methods: This study was a registered, prospective, randomized, controlled trial. From May 2019 to December 2019, 1 surgeon performed 18 robotic-assisted and 18 conventional scaphoid screw fixations and these patients were eligible for participation in this study. Surgical time, including the time of the overall procedure, set-up time, and time for ideal guidewire placement, was recorded. The number of guidewire attempts also was recorded. All patients were evaluated clinically and radiographically at follow-up with respect to the severity of pain, wrist motion, grip strength, complications, and Mayo modified wrist score. Results: The average set-up time and overall time of the procedure were longer in the robotic-assisted than in the conventional groups, while the mean guidewire insertion time and the mean guidewire attempts was less in the robotic-assisted group than that of the conventional group. The overall radiation exposure was lower in the robotic group. Conclusions: Robotic-assisted technique provided a useful tool to improve implantation accuracy and shorten radiation exposure. Additional cost and prolonged duration of surgery without evidence of improved clinical scores may limit widespread acceptance of this technique. Type of study/level of evidence: Therapeutic II.
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Background Scaphoid fractures account for 90% of carpal fractures and occur predominantly in young men. The use of immediate surgical fixation to manage this type of fracture has increased, despite insufficient evidence of improved outcomes over non-surgical management. The SWIFFT trial compared the clinical effectiveness of surgical fixation with cast immobilisation and early fixation of fractures that fail to unite in adults with scaphoid waist fractures displaced by 2 mm or less. Methods This pragmatic, parallel-group, multicentre, open-label, two-arm, randomised superiority trial included adults (aged 16 years or older) who presented to orthopaedic departments of 31 hospitals in England and Wales with a clear bicortical fracture of the scaphoid waist on radiographs. An independent remote randomisation service used a computer-generated allocation sequence with randomly varying block sizes to randomly assign participants (1:1) to receive either early surgical fixation (surgery group) or below-elbow cast immobilisation followed by immediate fixation if non-union of the fracture was confirmed (cast immobilisation group). Randomisation was stratified by whether or not there was displacement of either a step or a gap of 1–2 mm inclusive on any radiographic view. The primary outcome was the total patient-rated wrist evaluation (PRWE) score at 52 weeks after randomisation, and it was analysed on an available case intention-to-treat basis. This trial is registered with the ISRCTN registry, ISRCTN67901257, and is no longer recruiting, but long-term follow-up is ongoing. Findings Between July 23, 2013, and July 26, 2016, 439 (42%) of 1047 assessed patients (mean age 33 years; 363 [83%] men) were randomly assigned to the surgery group (n=219) or to the cast immobilisation group (n=220). Of these, 408 (93%) participants were included in the primary analysis (203 participants in the surgery group and 205 participants in the cast immobilisation group). 16 participants in the surgery group and 15 participants in the cast immobilisation group were excluded because of either withdrawal, no response, or no follow-up data at 6, 12, 26, or 52 weeks. There was no significant difference in mean PRWE scores at 52 weeks between the surgery group (adjusted mean 11·9 [95% CI 9·2–14·5]) and the cast immobilisation group (14·0 [11·3 to 16·6]; adjusted mean difference −2·1 [95% CI −5·8 to 1·6], p=0·27). More participants in the surgery group (31 [14%] of 219 participants) had a potentially serious complication from surgery than in the cast immobilisation group (three [1%] of 220 participants), but fewer participants in the surgery group (five [2%]) had cast-related complications than in the cast immobilisation group (40 [18%]). The number of participants who had a medical complication was similar between the two groups (four [2%] in the surgery group and five [2%] in the cast immobilisation group). Interpretation Adult patients with scaphoid waist fractures displaced by 2 mm or less should have initial cast immobilisation, and any suspected non-unions should be confirmed and immediately fixed with surgery. This treatment strategy will help to avoid the risks of surgery and mostly limit the use of surgery to fixing fractures that fail to unite. Funding National Institute for Health Research Health Technology Assessment Programme.
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Background Surgical and conservative methods have been reported by various studies for high rates of fracture union and subsequent regain of function among patients with undisplaced or minimally-displaced scaphoid fractures. Hence, this study aims to analyze the best available evidence to comprehend the relative benefits and risks of these therapeutic options. Methods A systematic search of the literature from different databases and search engines was performed with strict eligibility criteria to obtain the highest quality of evidence. All randomized controlled trials delineating the outcomes of surgical versus conservative treatments for acute undisplaced or minimally-displaced scaphoid fractures were included and then evaluated using scoring tools: Cochrane risk of bias tool and PEDro scale. Data were pooled using random-effects models with standard mean differences for continuous outcomes and risk ratios for dichotomous variables. Results The search yielded 339 potentially related articles, further trimmed down to eight studies based on the eligibility criteria. The meta-analysis revealed that surgical treatment resulted in significantly better functional outcomes than conservative treatment. Furthermore, surgery resulted in the prevention of delayed union of fractures and reduction of time needed to return to work. Conclusions While four studies reported advantages of surgical treatment, evidence was insufficient to provide a definitive conclusion that surgery is a better option. Due to the significant limitations with respect to certain variables, the superiority of one method to the other could not be established.
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Treatment of nondisplaced scaphoid waist fractures has evolved from conventional cast immobilization to percutaneous screw insertion. This study assessed clinical and radiologic outcomes of volar percutaneous screw fixation for 15 type B2 scaphoid fractures (according to the Herbert and Fisher classification). All patients were followed for an average of 33 months (range, 6-50 months). All fractures achieved radiographic union at an average of 57 days (range, 35-70 days), requiring no additional procedures. None of the patients showed radiographic signs of osteoarthritis, osteonecrosis of the scaphoid, or hardware-related complications. For scaphoid waist fractures without collapse, percutaneous screw fixation provided satisfactory results with a high rate of union, early return of function, and minimal complications. [Orthopedics. 201x; xx(x):xx-xx.].
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Introduction: Conventional non-vascularized bone grafts as well as vascularized bone grafts are used to treat scaphoid non-union (SN). Due to limited available studies, the field of application using both grafts for SN still remains controversial. The aim of this study was to evaluate a treatment algorithm for the use of both vascularized versus non-vascularized bone grafts based on clinical outcomes and quality of life (QoL) to improve the level of evidence. Materials and methods: Based on a retrospective cohort study, including 28 patients with vascularized and 45 patients with conventional bone grafts, functional parameters, radiological outcome, Mayo-wrist-score, and QoL by SF-36 were applied to statistically compare the outcome of these two techniques. Results: Time between last procedure or trauma and study group scaphoid reconstruction was almost double in the vascularized bone grafting group. Comparable union rates were achieved with vascularized as well as non-vascularized bone grafts. Significant differences were observed between both groups for grip strength and radial-ulnar active range of motion. Further functional outcomes, radiological outcomes as well as QoL were found similar for both techniques in patients with surgical union. Discussion and conclusions: In order to achieve comparable and appropriate treatment results, vascularized bone grafts are recommended for patients with delayed treatment, impaired scaphoid vascularity, and revision surgery. Even in preselected, complex cases, the results are comparable to conventional grafts, which are the basis for further patient education and approve the powerful role of surgical angiogenesis of vascularized bone grafts.
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Background: Percutaneous techniques have been described for the treatment of nondisplaced scaphoid fractures, although less information has been reported about outcomes for unstable, displaced fractures. The aim of this study was to evaluate the union and complication rates following manual closed reduction and percutaneous screw placement for a consecutive series of unstable, displaced scaphoid fractures. Methods: A total of 28 patients (average age, 27 years; 22 male/6 female) were treated for isolated unstable displaced scaphoid waist fractures. Closed reduction and percutaneous headless, compression screw fixation was successfully performed in 14 patients (average age, 32 years; 10 male/4 female), and the remaining 14 patients required open reduction. Patients who underwent percutaneous treatment were followed for radiographic fracture union and clinical outcomes. Results: Thirteen of 14 fractures (93%) had clinical and radiographic evidence of bone union at an average of 2.8 months postoperatively. Average visual analog pain score at the time of union was 0.9. The average Quick Disability of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand score at 2.5 years follow-up (range, 1.5-8.3 years) was 9.6 (range, 0.0-27.3). Complications included 1 case of nonunion and 1 case of intraoperative Kirschner wire breakage. Conclusions: Manual closed reduction followed by percutaneous headless, compression screw fixation was possible in 50% of patients who presented with acute unstable, displaced scaphoid fractures. This technique appears to be a safe and effective method when a manual reduction is possible, and it may offer a less invasive option when compared with a standard open technique.
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Background: Traditionally, acute undisplaced or minimally-displaced scaphoid fractures are treated by casting in short- or long-arm casts. Although reports have shown that operative treatment is safe, effective and produces satisfactory results, outcomes from current studies comparing these two methods are questionable. The aim of this meta-analysis was to evaluate the effects of operative versus non-operative treatment for acute undisplaced or minimally-displaced scaphoid fractures in adults. Methods: Computerized searches were performed without language restrictions and all randomized controlled studies providing information on the effects of operative versus non-operative treatment on the outcomes of acute undisplaced or minimally-displaced scaphoid fractures were included. The weighted and standard mean difference (WMD and SMD) or the relative risk (RR) were calculated for continuous or dichotomous data respectively. Results: A total of six studies reported in seven publications were included, representing data on 340 fractures. Meta-analysis indicated that operative treatment resulted in significantly better functional outcomes in the short term when compared with non-operative treatment. Consistently, patients who accepted surgery had a more rapid return to work. Further, surgery was advantageous in preventing delayed union of the fractures, a finding supported by the results of analysis of the time to fracture union. A number-needed-to-treat analysis revealed that more than 20 patients would have to undergo operative treatment to prevent one delayed union. Conclusion: Acute undisplaced or minimally-displaced scaphoid fractures demonstrate faster recovery with operative treatment; however, the current meta-analysis does not provide evidence supporting the routine use of operative treatment for all acute undisplaced or minimally-displaced scaphoid fractures.
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We compared the long-term outcome in 61 patients (62 fractures) treated operatively or conservatively for an acute fracture of the carpal scaphoid. A total of 30 fractures was randomised to conservative treatment using a cast and 32 to operative treatment using a Herbert bone screw. The duration of sick leave was shorter for patients treated by operation, but this was only significant in patients with blue-collar occupations. There were no differences between the groups in respect of function, radiological healing of the fracture, or carpal arthritis after follow-up at 12 years. Those managed by operation showed radiological signs of arthritis of the scaphotrapezial joint more often, but this finding did not correlate with subjective symptoms. Operative treatment of an acute fracture of the scaphoid allows early return of function and should be regarded as an alternative to conservative treatment in patients in whom immobilisation in a cast for three months is not acceptable for reasons related to sports, social life or work.
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We randomly allocated 60 consecutive patients with fractures of the waist of the scaphoid to percutaneous fixation with a cannulated Acutrak screw or immobilisation in a cast. The range of movement, the grip and pinch strength, the modified Green/O’Brien functional score, return to work and sports, and radiological evidence of union were evaluated at each follow-up visit. Patients were followed sequentially for one year. Those undergoing percutaneous screw fixation showed a quicker time to union (9.2 weeks vs 13.9 weeks, p < 0.001) than those treated with a cast. There was a trend towards a higher rate of nonunion in the non-operative group, although this was not statistically significant. Patients treated by operation had a more rapid return of function and to sport and full work compared with those managed conservatively. There was a very low complication rate. We recommend that all active patients should be offered percutaneous stabilisation for fractures of the waist of the scaphoid.
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We report the outcome at a mean of 93 months (73 to 110) of 71 patients with an acute fracture of the scaphoid who were randomised to Herbert screw fixation (35) or below-elbow plaster cast immobilisation (36). These 71 patients represent the majority of a randomised series of 88 patients whose short-term outcome has previously been reported. Those patients available for later review were similar in age, gender and hand dominance. There was no statistical difference in symptoms and disability as assessed by the mean Patient Evaluation Measure (p = 0.4), or mean Patient-Rated Wrist Evaluation (p = 0.9), the mean range of movement of the wrist (p = 0.4), mean grip strength (p = 0.8), or mean pinch strength (p = 0.4). Radiographs were available from the final review for 59 patients. Osteoarthritic changes were seen in the scaphotrapezial and radioscaphoid joints in eight (13.5%) and six patients (10.2%), respectively. Three patients had asymptomatic lucency surrounding the screw. One non-operatively treated patient developed nonunion with avascular necrosis. In five patients who were treated non-operatively (16%) there was an abnormal scapholunate angle ( > 60°), but in four of these patients this finding was asymptomatic. No medium-term difference in function or radiological outcome was identified between the two treatment groups.
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This prospective single-centre study describes the functional outcomes, satisfaction and health-related quality of life after open revision carpal tunnel decompression for recurrent carpal tunnel syndrome. The QuickDASH, patient satisfaction and EuroQol-5 dimensions questionnaires were collected preoperatively and postoperatively over a 5-year period (2013–2018). The median time to revision was 13.3 years (range 3.9–35.4 years; interquartile range 7.2–15.9 years). Outcomes were available for 14 hands in 13 patients at a mean of 20 months after revision surgery. The mean preoperative and postoperative QuickDASH scores were 55 and 29, respectively, and the mean improvement in QuickDASH was 26. The mean improvement in EuroQol-5 dimensions score was 0.1, and 13 of the 14 patients were satisfied. The net promoter score was 85. This study confirms that patients undergoing revision open carpal tunnel decompression for recurrent carpal tunnel syndrome experience a significant improvement in function and health-related quality of life. Level of evidence: IV
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The aim of this study was to evaluate the results of percutaneous screw fixation of scaphoid waist fractures in our surgery unit by comparing them with recent data from the literature. This was a retrospective, descriptive study conducted between January 2010 and September 2016. Patients operated due to a recent scaphoid fracture and treated by percutaneous anterograde screw fixation with a Herbert screw were included in this study. Our cohort was a sub-set from a scaphoid fracture group; other fracture sites, other treatment techniques and fractures associated with scapholunate ligament lesions were excluded. The time to union and union rate were recorded. The Youm and McMurtry indices, scaphoid and scapholunate angles were measured on radiographs. A total of 21 patients were included. The mean age was 30 years (18-44) and the sex ratio (male/female) was 9.5. The union rate was 95% with an average follow-up of 24 months. Four patients had a mobility deficit in the sagittal plane of about 9°. No malunion was found, and no major complications were observed. Based on this study, percutaneous fixation of the scaphoid with Herbert's screw is a reliable technique that leads to union in most cases with limited postoperative immobilization.
Article
Purpose: The optimal management of undisplaced scaphoid fractures remains controversial. A systematic review was conducted to assess the outcomes of acute, undisplaced scaphoid fractures managed with cast immobilization versus percutaneous or miniopen screw fixation in terms of time to return to work (RTW), time to union, and morbidity. Methods: PubMed MEDLINE, Ovid MEDLINE, EMBASE, SCOPUS, and Cochrane electronic databases were searched over the period 1974 to 2015. Key words included "scaphoid fracture," "navicular fracture," "hand," "immobilization," "cast," "conservative," "percutaneous," "screw fixation," "mini open," and "minimally invasive." A 2-step review process was done by 2 independent reviewers (H.A. and J.K.) using the following criteria: (1) acute undisplaced scaphoid fracture, (2) English language, (3) RTW duration objectively reported, (5) age older than 15 years, and (5) studies with more than 10 patients. Patient demographics, duration of immobilization, time to RTW, time to union, and complications were extracted. The methodological quality of each study included was assessed independently. Meta-analysis was performed for comparative trials. Results: Ten studies met the inclusion criteria: 6 comparative studies and 4 case series. Patients were divided into 2 groups: cast immobilization (group 1) and percutaneous fixation (group 2). Average time to RTW was 77 days for group 1 versus 46 days for group 2. Average time to radiographic union was 79 days for group 1 versus 44 days for group 2. There was no significant difference in complication rate between the groups (7% in group 1 vs 14% in group 2). Conclusions: Percutaneous fixation of acute undisplaced scaphoid fractures has union rates comparable with those of nonsurgical cast immobilization but with faster RTW and time to union without a significant difference in complication rate. Type of study/level of evidence: Therapeutic II.
Article
Purpose: The absence of a best practice treatment standard contributes to clinical variation in medicine. Often in the absence of evidence, a standard of care is developed and treatment protocols are implemented. The purpose of this study was to examine whether the standard of care for the treatment of nondisplaced scaphoid fractures is uniform among orthopedic surgeons. Methods: A survey of orthopedic surgeons actively practicing in the US or abroad was conducted to elicit preferred treatment strategies for nondisplaced scaphoid fractures. The surgeons were recruited at orthopedic conferences, clinical visits, and via email. The survey included demographic questions along with a short clinical vignette. The option for fracture management included surgical versus nonsurgical treatment. For those who chose nonsurgical treatment, type/duration of immobilization was recorded. Cost analysis was performed to estimate direct and indirect costs of various treatment options. Results: A total of 494 orthopedic surgeons completed the survey. The preference for surgical treatment was preferred in 13% of respondents. Hand/upper extremity specialists were significantly more likely to operate compared with generalists (p = 0.0002). Surgeons younger than forty-five were nearly twice as likely to choose surgery (p = 0.01). There was no clear consensus on duration of immobilization as 30% of surgeons chose 6 weeks, 33% selected 8 weeks, and 27% opted for 12 weeks. Total cost of surgery was 49% greater than that of nonoperative treatment. With each additional week of immobilization for nonoperative treatment, the total costs of surgical treatment near that of nonoperative treatment. Conclusion: There exist clear trends in how specific demographic groups choose to treat the nondisplaced scaphoid fracture. Whether these trends are the result of generational gaps or additional subspecialty training remains difficult to determine, but there is need to pursue a more consistent approach that benefits the patients and the health care system as a whole.
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Background: There is evidence to support primary nonoperative management of isolated stable fractures of the radial head, although minimal data exist regarding long-term outcomes. The aim of this study was to report subjective long-term outcomes of isolated stable fractures of the radial head and neck following primary nonoperative management. Methods: From a prospective database of proximal radial fractures, we identified all skeletally mature patients who sustained an isolated stable Mason type-1 or type-2 fracture of the radial head or neck during an eighteen-month period. Inclusion criteria were a confirmed isolated stable fracture of the proximal aspect of the radius, primarily managed nonoperatively. The primary long-term outcome measure was the Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand (DASH) score. Results: The study cohort comprised 100 patients with a mean age of forty-six years (range, seventeen to seventy-nine years). A fall from a standing height accounted for 69% of all injuries. Thirty-five percent of the patients had one or more comorbidities. There were fifty-seven Mason type-1 fractures and forty-three Mason type-2 fractures. At a mean of ten years post injury (range, 8.8 to 10.2 years), the mean DASH score was 5.8 (range, 0 to 67.2) and the mean Oxford Elbow Score (OES) was 46 (range, 14 to 48). Fourteen (14%) of the patients reported stiffness and twenty-four (24%) reported some degree of pain. A worse DASH score was associated with older age (p = 0.002), one or more comorbidities (p = 0.008), increasing socioeconomic deprivation by Index of Multiple Deprivation quintile (p = 0.026), increasing amount of fracture displacement (p = 0.041), and involvement in compensation proceedings (p = 0.006). Conclusions: Long-term patient-reported outcomes were excellent following the nonoperative management of isolated stable fractures of the radial head or neck. We suggest that routine primary nonoperative management of these fractures provides a satisfactory outcome for the majority of patients, with few patients in our study requiring further intervention for persisting complaints. Level of evidence: Therapeutic Level IV. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.
Article
Fifteen per cent of acute fractures of the scaphoid waist fail to unite if treated non-operatively in plaster, resulting in persistent loss of function. Suspected risk factors for non-union include proximal fracture fragment avascularity and assessments of fracture displacement and comminution. This series of studies investigated whether one can accurately identify which scaphoid waist fractures will unite with plaster treatment. They suggest that proximal fracture fragment vascularity is not a predictor of outcome. In contrast, assessments of fracture displacement on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT) but not scaphoid series radiographs can be used to predict outcome. Undisplaced fractures are benign and unite reliably with 4-8 weeks' treatment in plaster. Displaced fractures with 3mm or more gapping have a significant non-union rate if treated in plaster and might be better treated operatively. Use of MRI/CT may allow reliable, cost effective treatment of acute fractures through the scaphoid waist.
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Established in 1987, the EuroQol Group initially comprised a network of international, multilingual and multi-disciplinary researchers from seven centres in Finland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the UK. Nowadays, the Group comprises researchers from Canada, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Japan, New Zealand, Slovenia, Spain, the USA and Zimbabwe. The process of shared development and local experimentation resulted in EQ-5D, a generic measure of health status that provides a simple descriptive profile and a single index value that can be used in the clinical and economic evaluation of health care and in population health surveys. Currently, EQ-5D is being widely used in different countries by clinical researchers in a variety of clinical areas. EQ-5D is also being used by eight out of the first 10 of the top 50 pharmaceutical companies listed in the annual report of Pharma Business (November/December 1999). Furthermore, EQ-5D is one of the handful of measures recommended for use in cost-effectiveness analyses by the Washington Panel on Cost Effectiveness in Health and Medicine. EQ-5D has now been translated into most major languages with the EuroQol Group closely monitoring the process.
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The scaphoid is the common carpal bone to be fractured. Proper clinical and radiological evaluation is required to establish it's diagnosis. The management of acute fractures includes conservative treatment with cast in minimally displaced to open reduction and internal fixation in case of displaced ones. The established nonunion requires open reduction, bone grafting and internal fixation.
Article
Scaphoid injury and subsequent non-union is a well documented and researched subject. This article gives an overview of the epidemiology and results of the patients we have treated for scaphoid non-union at a University Hospital. 283 scaphoid non-unions in 268 patients (83% men) were operated upon, 230 as a primary and 47 as a secondary. The median age at time of surgery was 27 years. One-third of the non-unions were located in the proximal part of the scaphoid and the remaining two-thirds in the middle part. Of the 146 patients (55%) who contacted a doctor at the time of injury, 53 fractures where diagnosed (20%). Fourteen (5%) were operated primarily while 39 (15%) (seven dislocated) were immobilized in plaster casts. Thirty-two (12%) were under the age of 16 at the time of injury. The average time from the injury to the initial non-union surgery was 1.5 years with 2.8 years to the second procedure. The risk of osteoarthritis increased time from injury to surgery (both primary and secondary procedures). The greatest potential for the reduction of scaphoid non-union is an increased awareness amongst younger men. There is also potential for improved accuracy in the diagnosis of scaphoid fractures (better clinical tests, the use of radiographs, CTs and MRIs) in order to identify the fracture and evaluate dislocation at the initial injury. Early diagnosis and treatment of fractures and non-unions will reduce the development of degenerative wrist changes.
Article
Nondisplaced scaphoid fractures treated with prolonged cast immobilization may result in temporary joint stiffness and muscle weakness in addition to a delay in return to sports or work. Fixation of scaphoid fractures with a percutaneous cannulated screw has resulted in a shorter time to union and to return to work or sports. The purpose of this prospective, randomized study was to compare cast immobilization with percutaneous cannulated screw fixation of nondisplaced scaphoid fractures with respect to time to radiographic union and to return to work. Twenty-five full-time military personnel with an acute nondisplaced fracture of the scaphoid waist consented to be randomized to either cast immobilization or fixation with a percutaneous cannulated Acutrak screw (Acumed, Beaverton, Oregon) for the purpose of this study. Time to fracture union, wrist motion, grip strength, and return to work as well as overall patient satisfaction at the time of a two-year follow-up were evaluated. Eleven patients were randomized to percutaneous cannulated screw fixation, and fourteen were randomized to cast immobilization. The average time to fracture union in the screw fixation group was seven weeks compared with twelve weeks in the cast immobilization group (p = 0.0003). The average time until the patients returned to work was eight weeks compared with fifteen weeks in the cast immobilization group (p = 0.0001). There was no significant difference in the range of motion of the wrist or in grip strength at the two-year follow-up evaluation. Overall patient satisfaction was high in both groups. Percutaneous cannulated screw fixation of nondisplaced scaphoid fractures resulted in faster radiographic union and return to military duty compared with cast immobilization. The specific indications for and the risks and benefits of percutaneous screw fixation of such fractures must be determined in larger randomized, prospective studies.
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In clinical day-to-day life, grip strength, key pinch, and range of motion (ROM) serve to objectively evaluate treatment outcomes on wrist interventions. The goals of this study were to generate normative values of wrist function including the parameters of grip strength, key pinch, wrist ROM, and Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand (DASH) scores in a healthy, working population, and to investigate the influence of age, sex, body weight and height, handedness, and work strain. We clinically examined 750 volunteer working subjects (363 women and 387 men, all white). We divided subjects into 2 groups depending on whether their labor involved high or low manual strain. We recorded participants' height, weight, grip strength, pinch strength, and wrist ROM. Each participant filled out a DASH questionnaire. Grip strength and pinch strength showed a maximum at between 30 and 49 years of age. In men, body mass index, body height, and weight all correlated with grip strength and pinch grip. Whereas women exhibited greater grip strength on the right side, men showed nonsignificant greater grip strength on the left side. Wrist ROM was greatest for ages ranging between 18 and 29 years. The average DASH value for all male subjects was significantly less than that of female subjects. In a healthy working population, the DASH score increased yearly by an average of 0.2 points in men and 0.3 points in women. This study showed that in a healthy working population, people 30 to 49 years of age had the highest grip strength and pinch strength. Age positively correlated with the DASH score and inversely related to wrist ROM. Persons employed in jobs with high manual strain presented with lower wrist ROM and higher DASH scores. These data help to objectively evaluate wrist function and the effectiveness of therapeutic interventions.
Article
The scaphoid fractures account for 50%-80% of all carpal bone fractures in young individuals. Non-union of the fracture occurs in approximately 5%-10% of undisplaced scaphoid fractures. Current management varies significantly among different places and surgeons. The purpose of this review is to investigate the evidence of the effectiveness and safety of various treatments of acute scaphoid fractures. Systematic review and metanalysis of all the randomised and quasi-randomised trials comparing different treatments of acute scaphoid fractures. Thirteen RCTs (Published 18 times) have met our inclusion criteria. The followings have been investigated: 1. Colles cast versus scaphoid cast. 2. Above elbow versus below elbow scaphoid cast. 3. Colles cast with the wrist in flexion versus Colles cast with the wrist in extension. 5. Operative versus non-operative treatment. 6. Union rate versus time to union. Scaphoid fracture can be treated by Colles cast for up to 12 weeks. The wrist should not be in flexion. There is no advantage of an above elbow cast over a below elbow cast. Operative treatment for scaphoid does not provide a higher union rate in undisplaced fractures, but may do in displaced fracture. Open approach seems to be superior to percutaneous fixation.
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The current available literature related to scaphoid fracture epidemiology is inconsistent. The aim of this study was to describe the epidemiology of true scaphoid fractures in a defined adult population. Using a prospective database, we identified all patients who sustained a radiographically confirmed acute fracture of the scaphoid over a 1-year period. Age, gender, mechanism of injury, the Herbert fracture classification, and associated injuries were recorded and analyzed. There were 151 scaphoid fractures diagnosed giving an annual incidence of 29 per 100,000 (95% confidence interval, 25–34). The median age of males was significantly younger when compared with females (p = 0.002), with a male (n = 105) predominance seen (p 0.001). Low-energy falls from a standing height were most common (40.4%), but with males being significantly more likely to sustain their fracture after a high-energy injury (p 0.001). The most common fracture was Herbert classification B2 (n =55, 36.4%), with unstable fractures more common in younger patients (p = 0.025) following a high-energy injury (p = 0.042). We have reported the epidemiology of true scaphoid fractures, with young males at risk of sustaining a fracture. Knowledge of the true incidence of scaphoid fractures and an understanding of the demographic risk factors are essential when assessing the suspected scaphoid fracture, particularly when considering further imaging modalities.
Article
To investigate the effectiveness of surgical treatment for minimally displaced and undisplaced scaphoid waist fractures compared with nonsurgical intervention through pairwise and network meta-analyses of randomized controlled trials. We searched several databases from 1990 to 2009 for randomized controlled trials that evaluated surgical and nonsurgical treatments of undisplaced or minimally displaced scaphoid waist fractures. We based the main pairwise meta-analysis comparison on the odds ratio of fracture union between patients undergoing surgical versus nonsurgical treatment. We also investigated other outcome measures including complications, range of motion, grip strength, and osteoarthritis of the scaphotrapeziotrapezoid and radiocarpal joints. We used a network meta-analysis to simultaneously synthesize trials making different intervention comparisons while modeling different surgical and nonsurgical treatments distinctly. Of the 67 articles identified, 6 studies were eligible for the primary pairwise meta-analysis, with a total of 363 patients. The pooled odds ratio of fracture union between the surgical and nonsurgical groups was in favor of surgery but not statistically significant. Surgical treatment was associated with a statistically significant elevated risk of complication. Range of motion, grip strength, and osteoarthritis of the scaphotrapeziotrapezoid and radiocarpal joints did not reach statistical significance in the pairwise meta-analyses. The mixed-treatment network meta-analysis showed that open (Herbert) screw fixation had a probability of 0.73 as being the best treatment method compared with percutaneous screw fixation, short arm cast, and short thumb spica cast. Although surgical treatment is favored in terms of fracture union in our pairwise meta-analysis, this did not reach statistical significance, but was associated with a significantly increased risk of complications. The cumulative evidence at present does not support routine surgical treatment, and aggressive conservative management should remain the mainstay for scaphoid waist fractures. Therapeutic I.
Article
Traditionally, acute nondisplaced scaphoid fractures have been treated nonoperatively in a cast, and the expected union rate approaches 90%. Internal fixation of nondisplaced scaphoid fractures has increased in popularity, and a union rate of 100% has been reported. The growing trend is to recommend internal fixation for the majority of acute scaphoid fractures. The true long-term benefits of this more complicated treatment modality have not yet been determined in randomized controlled trials. The purpose of this study was to compare the long-term results of operative fixation of acute scaphoid fractures with those of nonoperative treatment. During the period between 1992 and 1997, eighty-three patients with an acute nondisplaced or minimally displaced scaphoid fracture were randomly allocated to, and received, either nonoperative treatment with a cast or internal fixation with a Herbert screw. At a median of ten years after the injury, seventy-five (93%) of the eighty-one patients who were still alive were assessed clinically and radiographically. All fractures united. A significant increase in the prevalence of osteoarthritis in the scaphotrapezial joint was found in the operatively treated group. No differences in subjective symptoms, as measured with limb-specific outcome scores, were found between the two groups. The range of motion and grip strength were greater, but not significantly greater, in the nonoperatively treated group. This study did not demonstrate a true long-term benefit of internal fixation, compared with nonoperative treatment, for acute nondisplaced or minimally displaced scaphoid fractures. The long-term risks of surgery should be considered when recommending operative treatment.
Article
A systematic review of the literature identified eight trials comparing surgery with cast treatment and found no significant difference in pain, tenderness, cost, functional outcome or patient satisfaction. In the group treated surgically, the rate of non-union was three times less, there was a quicker return to function and grip strength and range of movement was also transiently better. There were, however, more complications among those treated surgically. No significant differences were reported in the two trials that compared above and below elbow casts or the trial that compared scaphoid and Colles' casts.
Article
Long-term results of percutaneous treatment for 36 scaphoid fractures, types B1 and B2 according to Herbert, are reported. Outcomes were satisfactory in nearly all cases. In three patients, the screw was too long and had to be removed, and pseudoarthrosis developed in one patient. Consolidation was observed after 6-8 weeks, less than literature reports for immobilization with casts. The percutaneous approach is particularly suitable for younger patients who work or play sports.
Article
The optimal treatment of minimally displaced or nondisplaced fractures of the scaphoid is unclear. Traditionally, management of these fractures has been unpredictable with a significant risk of nonunion when treated conservatively. This study examined the results from 32 patients who underwent percutaneous screw fixation using a 3.0-mm AO/ASIF cannulated screw for a nondisplaced or minimally displaced fracture of the scaphoid waist. Eighteen patients were available for final follow up (average 3.2 years) including administration of the DASH questionnaire, a physical examination, and final radiographs. Sixteen (89%) healed successfully after the index procedure. There were two complications consisting of nonunions, both of which required revision open reduction and internal fixation for fracture union. These also went on to heal, resulting in an ultimate union rate of 100%. No significant differences were found between operative and nonoperative extremities with regard to radial-ulnar deviation arc of motion, grip, or pinch strength. The average DASH score was 7.4, indicating no disability. Percutaneous fixation of acute, nondisplaced scaphoid fractures with 3.0-mm AO/ASIF cannulated screw is a safe, effective technique that minimizes the need for long-term wrist immobilization, allows an expeditious return to vocational activity, and results in reliable rates of union.
Article
There is a current trend in orthopaedic practice to treat nondisplaced or minimally displaced fractures with early open reduction and internal fixation instead of cast immobilization. This trend is not evidence-based. In this systematic review and meta-analysis, we pool data from trials comparing surgical and conservative treatment for acute nondisplaced and minimally displaced scaphoid fractures, thus aiming to summarize the best available evidence. A systematic literature search of the medical literature from 1966 to 2009 was performed. We selected eight randomized controlled trials comparing surgical with conservative treatment for acute nondisplaced or minimally displaced scaphoid fractures in adults. Data from included studies were pooled with use of fixed-effects and random-effects models with standard mean differences and risk ratios for continuous and dichotomous variables, respectively. Heterogeneity across studies was assessed with calculation of the I(2) statistic. Four hundred and nineteen patients from eight trials were included. Two hundred and seven patients were treated surgically, and 212 were treated conservatively. Most trials lacked scientific rigor. Our primary outcome parameter, standardized functional outcome, which was assessed for 247 patients enrolled in four trials, significantly favored surgical treatment (p < 0.01). With regard to our secondary parameters, we found heterogeneous results that favored surgical treatment in terms of satisfaction (assessed in one study), grip strength (six studies), time to union (three studies), and time off work (five studies). In contrast, we found no significant differences between surgical and conservative treatment with regard to pain (two studies), range of motion (six studies), the rates of nonunion (six studies) and malunion (seven studies), and total treatment costs (two studies). The rate of complications was higher in the surgical treatment group (23.7%) than in the conservative group (9.1%), although this difference was not significant (p = 0.13). There was a nearly significantly higher rate of scaphotrapezial osteoarthritis in the surgical treatment group (p = 0.05). Based on primary studies with limited methodological quality, this study suggests that surgical treatment is favorable for acute nondisplaced and minimally displaced scaphoid fractures with regard to functional outcome and time off work; however, surgical treatment engenders more complications. Thus, the long-term risks and short-term benefits of surgery should be carefully weighed in clinical decision-making.
Article
The purpose of this paper is to retrospectively review 234 consecutive cases of scaphoid fractures and nonunions treated using arthroscopy with the dorsal percutaneous implantation of a headless compression screw for healing and complications. Solid union of fracture is determined by CT scan. We identified 126 acute injuries, including 65 proximal pole fractures; 67 grossly displaced fractures; 12 trans-scaphoid perilunate dislocations including four trans-scaphoid trans-capitate fractures; and ten combined scaphoid and distal radius fractures. 108 scaphoid nonunions were identified. 98 were correctly aligned and ten had a humpback deformity which was correctable using arthroscopic assisted reduction techniques at the time of surgery. 82 presented with a fracture gap 2mm or greater requiring percutaneous bone grafting. 12 cases of avascular necrosis (AVN) were identified by MRI. 20 nonunions had surgery performed at other institutions. The mean time to surgery for the nonunions was 20 months.
Article
A retrospective radiographic and clinical analysis of 102 symptomatic patients with 104 scaphoid nonunions of at least 1 year's duration was conducted. Osteoarthritis occurred in 22% of non-unions of less than 5 years' duration, 75% of those of 5 to 9 years' duration, and 100% of those of 10 years' duration or more. An all-over incidence of osteoarthritis in the wrist was 55%. Osteoarthritic changes occurred initially at the scaphoid-radial styloid joint which were manifested by radial styloid pointing and/or dorsal radioscaphoid osteophyte formation, later progressing to the midcarpal joint. Osteoarthritis at the scaphoid-radial styloid joint was significantly associated with dorsiflexed intercalated segment instability (DISI) deformity. An overall incidence of DISI deformity of the wrist was 56%, and the frequency of DISI pattern increased with longer duration of non-union. There was an increased incidence of avascular necrosis of the proximal fragment with time, especially after 20 years. There was no correlation between symptoms of pain and the severity of arthritis or the duration of non-union, but a good correlation between the duration of non-union and reduced grip strength or decreased wrist motion. A symptomatic non-union of the scaphoid is significantly likely to progress to osteoarthritis according to a predictable sequence, becoming worse both radiographically and clinically with time.
Article
This study assessed the epidemiology, treatment, disability and time off work due to carpal injuries in the Netherlands in the period from 1990 to 1993. Most injuries were scaphoid fractures and carpal instabilities were rare. The time off work was considerable (mean, 155 days; median, 105 days; range, 12-1708 days). Patients with non-scaphoid fractures had the shortest time off work, followed by those with scaphoid fractures; patients with carpal instabilities had the longest time off work. Despite the significant time off work, the prognosis for return to work was excellent.
Article
Fifty-three patients with less than 14 day-old, undisplaced fractures of the waist of the scaphoid were randomized to two groups. Twenty-eight patients were treated by immobilisation in a below elbow plaster cast for 10 weeks while 25 were treated by percutaneous insertion of an Acutrak standard screw. There were no statistically significant differences between the two treatment groups with regard to either the rate of union or the time to union. Patients who underwent surgery had a significantly better range of motion at 16 weeks but there were no significant differences for grip strength. Acute percutaneous internal fixation of undisplaced scaphoid waist fractures using the Acutrak screw allows early mobilisation without adverse effects on fracture healing.
Article
This study compares the direct and indirect costs of conservative and minimally invasive treatment for undisplaced scaphoid fractures. Costs data concerning groups of non-operated and operated patients were analysed. Direct costs were higher in operated patients. Although highly variable, indirect costs were significantly smaller in operated patients and the total costs were higher in non-operated patients. In conclusion, operative treatment of scaphoid fractures is initially more expensive than conservative treatment but markedly decreases the work compensation costs.
Article
Sixty-six patients with acute scaphoid fractures were treated non-operatively in a below elbow plaster for 8 to 12 weeks and underwent CT scans along the longitudinal axis of the scaphoid at 12 to 18 weeks. These scans showed that 14 fractures had not united and that 30 had united throughout the whole cross-section of the scaphoid. The other 22 had partially united with bridging trabeculae in some areas of the cross-section. These 22 partial unions were graded as 0% to 24% union (0 cases), 25% to 49% union (5 cases), 50% to 74% union (7 cases), and 75% to 99% union (10 cases). The 12 patients who had less than 75% fracture union were followed-up further and nine underwent another CT scan at 23 to 40 weeks after the initial injury. These showed union across the whole of the cross-section of the fracture in seven cases and 75% to 99% union in the other two cases, who had full and painless wrist function. We conclude that partial union of the scaphoid is a common occurrence but, in most cases, it progresses to full union without the need for prolonged plaster immobilization.
Article
Nondisplaced scaphoid waist fractures treated with prolonged plaster immobilisation often lead in transient joint stiffness and to a delay in return to sport and work activity. The long time off work increases the work off compensation costs. Internal fixation of scaphoid fractures has resulted in a shorter time to union and to return to work and sports. This prospective study compares cast immobilisation with screw fixation and the direct cost with indirect cost of conservative and minimally invasive treatment of undisplaced scaphoid fractures. Forty-seven patients with an acute nondisplaced waist fracture of the scaphoid were allocated into either cast immobilisation or internal screw fixation for this study. Cost data concerning the groups of nonoperated and operated patients were analysed. Range of wrist motion, grip strength, DASH-score, time to fracture union, return to work time and the needed physiotherapy at the final follow-up at 6 months were evaluated. Twenty-one patients were included in the group of screw fixation and 23 patients were included in the group of cast immobilisation. At final follow-up there was no significant difference in the range of motion of the wrist or in grip strength. The operatively treated group had a better mean DASH-score than the conservative group. Fracture union was seen in the screw fixation group at a mean of 43 days and in the cast immobilisation group at a mean of 74 days (P < 0.5). The average time of return to work was 8 days for patients who had an internal screw fixation, while those treated with a cast returned to work at a mean of 55 days (P < 0.5). In total the internal fixation of undisplaced scaphoid fractures is less expensive than conservative treatment. Internal screw fixation of nondisplaced scaphoid fractures had a shorter time to bony union and the patients returned earlier to work compared with cast immobilisation. Although it is assumed that operative treatment is more expensive, in this study the cost was not found to be higher.
Article
Recent advances in techniques and implants have led to renewed interest in percutaneous screw fixation of acute scaphoid fractures. The closed (cast) treatment of acute scaphoid fractures generally has good outcome, with bony union resulting; however, closed treatment can result in delayed union, nonunion, malunion, cast- induced joint stiffness, and lost time from employment and avocations. Acute percutaneous fixation of scaphoid fracture has been proposed as a means to minimize some of the complications of closed (cast) treatment. Percutaneous treatment of both nondisplaced and displaced scaphoid fractures reportedly can achieve a nearly 100% union rate with minimal complications. Fixation of scaphoid fractures with headless compression screws can be done using both volar and dorsal approaches. The fracture reduction and alignment are assessed by fluoroscopy and arthroscopy. Appropriately performed acute percutaneous internal fixation is now a standard treatment option for a selected group of patients with acute scaphoid fracture.
The natural history of scaphoid non-union
  • Inoue
Surgical compared with conservative treatment for acute nondisplaced or minimally displaced scaphoid fractures
  • Buijze
A systematic review and metaanalysis examining the differences between nonsurgical management and percutaneous fixation of minimally and nondisplaced scaphoid fractures
  • H Alnaeem
  • S Aldekhayel
  • J Kanevsy
  • O F Neel
Alnaeem H, Aldekhayel S, Kanevsy J, Neel OF. A systematic review and metaanalysis examining the differences between nonsurgical management and percutaneous fixation of minimally and nondisplaced scaphoid fractures. J Hand Surg Am 2016;41:1135-44.