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).