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עמוד בית
Sun, 14.07.24

Original Articles

IMAJ | volume 11

Journal 4, April 2009
pages: 225-228

Management of Clinically Suspected Scaphoid Fractures: A Survey of Current Practice in Israel


    Background: Fracture of the scaphoid is the most common fracture of a carpal bone. Nevertheless, the diagnosis of SF[1] might be challenging. Plain X-rays that fail to demonstrate a fracture line while clinical findings suggest the existence of such a fracture is not uncommon. Currently there is no consensus in the literature as to how a clinically suspected SF should be diagnosed, immobilized and treated.

    Objectives: To assess the current status of diagnosis and treatment of clinically suspected scaphoid fractures in Israeli emergency departments

    Methods: We conducted a telephonic survey among orthopedic surgeons working in Israeli EDs[2] as to their approach to the diagnosis and treatment of occult SF.

    Results: A total of 42 orthopedic surgeons in 6 hospital EDs participated in the survey. They reported performing a mean of 2.45 ± 0.85 clinical tests, with tenderness over the snuffbox area being the sign most commonly used.  A mean of 4.38 ± 0.76 X-ray views were ordered for patients with a clinically suspected SF. The most common combination included posterior-anterior, lateral, semipronated and semisupinated oblique views. All participating surgeons reported immobilizing the wrists of patients with occult fractures in a thumb spica cast based on their clinical findings. Upon discharge from the ED patients were advised to have another diagnostic examination as follows: 29 (69%) repeated X-rays series, 18 (43%) were referred to bone scintigraphy and 2 (5%) to computed tomography; none were referred to magnetic resonance imaging.

    Conclusions: No consensus was found among Israeli orthopedic surgeons working in EDs regarding the right algorithm for assessment of clinically suspected SF. There is a need for better guidelines to uniformly dictate the order and set of tests to be used in the assessment of occult fractures.

    [1] SF = scaphoid fracture
    [2] ED = Emergency Department



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