Question :

Pain in the wrist after a fall with outstretched hand: Possible scaphoid fracture.

Dear Ask The Doctor:
I fell down a flight of stairs 3 1/2 weeks ago landing on my hand, and went to A&E as my wrist was very painful, particularly under the thumb. I was x-rayed for a suspected scaphoid fracture but as nothing showed up I was given a wrist and thumb velcro splint and asked to return in 2 weeks for further x-rays. I returned only a week later due to pain in my wrist and tingling and numbness in my thumb and index finger. I was then put into a scaphoid cast for the pain and told to return in a week. The following week the cast was removed and I was re x-rayed. Again no fracture was seen and I was diagnosed with a sprain and given another wrist splint (no thumb). I saw my my GP shortly afterwards (for an unrelated issue) and was advised to rest the wrist and take ibuprofen for the swelling and pain. My parents then insisted I see a second GP back at home, who advised me to use the wrist more and try some home physiotherapy exercises (flexion-extension, side-to-side, rotation). I have tried this for a few days but am still in pain and have occasional tingling down the outer side of my thumb. What should my next action be?


Answer :

Dear Patient: 
Sometimes the scaphoid fractures are really hard to see in the X-rays, so the best imaging study to visualize them is the CT scan. In your case the way you fell, your age, and the pain under the thumb, is typical of an scaphoid fracture, and most of the orthopedic surgeons treat such cases as the mentioned fracture even with x rays showing no fracture, and they order CT scan right away or after 2 weeks of the trauma. I suggest that you get an evaluation by an orthopedic surgeon or a hand specialist.


Questions related to Joint Damage

Finger joints in the thumb will not bend

The joint in my thumb won't bend...it has been over a month

Joint was damaged a year ago and it keeps hurting

Hi, i want to know something about my joints, i had a car accident a year ago and i hurt my knee , i cut my knee and ...

Annoying noise in the finger

I have a noise in a finger when I bend it, that sounds like a squeaking sound. What can it be and is it something to...

post surgery complications

Hi there im 25 years old and for the last 2 years i had some minor problems with my right knee that stopped me fr...

Degenerative Ankle Fusion

I have a degenerative ankle issue where my talus bone is at a 35 degree angle and the Dr recommends ankle fusion. Wh...

Torn Meniscus in right knee. Had cortisone but ...

I have a torn meniscus in my right knee. I had one cortisone shot about three months ago. It helped, but now it wor...

Defect in ankle

Apparently I have defect in my ankle. What makes this worse ? And secondly what treatment should I get for it?

Can cancer be mistaken for TMJ Arthralgia?

I'm almost 100% positive that I have tmj and I started feeling symptoms a year ago. It has come to the point where I ...

Lifestyle remedies for Temporomandibular Joint ...

I have continual pain in my Temporomandibular joint. It came on suddenly about 6 days ago and since then it hasn't g...

Chronic ankle pain at rest and walking

Hi there i have been suffering with pain in my right leg and ankle for over 2 years now i have been to my doctors bu...

Pain and limitation after elbow dislocation two...

Just over two weeks ago, due to a snowboarding fall, I dislocated my left elbow. Right after the injury occurred, I ...

Possible TMJD with previous history of punch in...

I was punched in the jaw, by a patient, when I worked as a nurse aide in the hospital in 2007. The hit was on the le...

Lump on back of a previously injured knee

When I was six I injured my knee. I fell on a jagged object and tore the skin away, exposing my kneecap. I only got ...

Teenager with severe meniscus lesion waiting fo...

My 13 year old daughter just had an MRI of her knee. It showed Maceration of the lateral meniscus with a large porti...

Possible grade 1 ankle sprain five days ago

I sprained my ankle 5 days ago and now there is no more swelling or pain when I walk. I'm just a little worried beca...

Hip pain after a long walk

Hi. I am 25 years old and have problems with my right hip joint becoming sore and aching for many days after a long ...

Possible consequences of an old elbow injury.

I fractured my elbow as a child, 15 years ago. Never followed up with physical therapy, cannot fully extend the join...

Recovery after Hip dislocation

What is the advised time of rest in case of hip joint dislocation for adults , not in case of an infant .....?????

Elbow Pain: Possible elbow sprained

My seatbelt got caught in my car door. I couldn't get the door to close after that. It happened 10 days ago. I drove...

Hip pain sequel of septic arthritis years ago t...

I have Diabetes, 10 years ago aged 13 years old I developed septic arthritis in my iscium and hip. I was very ill. I...

Pain in the big toe when walking

My big toe hurts when walking or resting. It does not hurt when I touch it but it hurts especially when I have on a ...

Persistent Pain in the right thumb after a Fal...

Hi, I fell from stairs nearly 2 months back. Apart from some scratches on my right leg, my right thumb (leg) bumped ...

Wrist pain and weakness for over a year: CTS?

I have had severe pain in my wrist for over a yr now, as far as i can tell its the flexor carpi radius. What can I d...

What is a trigger finger? Which are my treatmen...

Whats trigger finger? can it be cured without surgery?

Sprained ankle one year ago and still sore and ...

I sprained my ankle 1 years ago. There is a bump that is getting increasingly larger, sorer and redder on the inside...

Shepherds fracture due to a fall down the stair...

I fell down the stairs 2 weeks ago today and have a shepherds fracture (posterior process of talus). I am in a velcr...

Elbows making cracking sound

Hi there, I'm only 32, and my elbows make a pretty loud cracking sound around 20 or 30 times a day, when i straighte...

Knee pain in a landscaping professional with hi...

Hello, I am 36 year old male and live in Wisconsin. I am a very active person. I play a lot of basketball and do law...

Injury to Heel and Ankle

I am having a problem with my right foot. I came down hard on it when playing basketball. I have sharp pain in my h...

After three weeks, my dislocated elbow won't go...

I have dislocated my left elbow. It has been three weeks since my cast was taken off My doctor said to stretch it re...

I am Having Constant Muscle Cramps When I raise...

For the last couple of weeks if i raise either arm above my shoulder they get muscle cramps in them to where i can h...

Wrist Pain, Could it be Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Hello For about 5 to 6 months now I have been experiencing wrist pain which occurs about 1 - 2 times per month and ...

Multiple joint pain and swelling in a young man

Hello dr, i have a long problem it started with my right knee when i was about 8 or9 after i dislocated the knee cap...

Complications after scaphoid fracture operated ...

2 years a go I had surgery on my scaphoid, I had a screw put in. today, it is still swollen, I don't have full range...

Recurring ankle injury after sprain

I sprained my ankle two months ago, and for the first week rested it and did RICE. However every couple of weeks my ...

Unexplained Joint Inflammation: What can it be?

Good Day , I am new to this site and was woundering if you could assist me ? I suffer with a rare joint inflamation....

Snapping Hip getting worse and bilateral

Hello...I have been experiencing a problem with my hips for a few years now...first it started only with my right hi...

Ankylosing Spondylitis with HLA B27 positive in...

Doctor, My husband 30 yrs old is having ankylosing spondilytis and is Hla b27 positive. Please advice- a)what are th...

Pain and swelling in the ankles after an injury...

Hi i injured both my ankles last year and i didnt have any health insurance so i didnt recieve the propertreatment. ...

Injured ankle during swimming

Hi, during July I damaged my ankle. What happened was that I went swimming with the floater pad, so therefore I was ...

Multiple level spinal issues

Dear Dr.ihave been having chronic low back pain for 2 and half years.I also have had cervical fusion c5-c6-c7 back t...

Severe ankle pain after sprain of the anterior ...

I've had a sudden onset of pain in my left ankle and foot. It began as the kind of tenderness associated with a mild...

Pain and swelling in the back of the left hand ...

I have swelling in the back of my left hand and in an area about 2 inches back up my arm ,,, if I bunch my fist I ca...

Post traumatic severe pain and tingling in the ...

I went on a water slide on Saturday, and when shooting out of one, hit my elbow. It hurt a lot, but I didn't think a...

Solid nodule on the dorsal PIP of the forth finger

I'm a 24 year old female with a lump on the side of the knuckle (PIP) of my right ring finger for as long as I can r...

Middle finger distal phalanx amputation

My mother's middle finger ot cut while slamming the door . x ray report shows that thhe distal phalanyx has been rem...

Dislocation of the fifth finger

My pinky was dislocated at the distal end it is irregularly shaped and very painful I want to go to the emergency ro...

Possible post traumatic thumb capsulitis

So i was playing softball and i caught a fly ball and the ball hit the inside of the thumb on my glove hand. i put i...

Previous history of incomplete phalangeal fract...

Have an old Right pointer finger that was broken 17 years ago that was diagnosed as a sprain then 3 days later x- ra...

Collapsing arm: Possible Rotator Cuff problem

Whenever i attempt any task involving raising up one of my arm above head level, the whole arm will just fall back d...


Post Your Thoughts