Is Casting for Non-Displaced Simple Scaphoid Waist Fracture Effective? A CT Based Assessment of Union
Ruby Grewal*, Nina Suh, Joy C. MacDermid
Identifiers and Pagination:Year: 2016
First Page: 431
Last Page: 438
Publisher ID: TOORTHJ-10-431
Article History:Received Date: 22/5/2016
Revision Received Date: 10/8/2016
Acceptance Date: 16/8/2016
Electronic publication date: 15/09/2016
Collection year: 2016
open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial 4.0 International Public License (CC BY-NC 4.0) (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/legalcode), which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.
The purpose of this study is to report the union rate and time to union for acute non-displaced scaphoid waist fractures treated with a short arm thumb spica cast.
A database was searched (2006-2013) to identify acute undisplaced scaphoid waist fractures. Cases that were not given a trial of casting were excluded (n=33). X-rays, CT scans and health records for each patient were reviewed to extract data.
172 patients met inclusion criteria. There were 138 males, 34 females, the mean age was 30 ± 16 years. The union rate was 99.4% (1 nonunion/172 subjects). The mean time to union was approximately 7.5 weeks (53 ± 37 days). Energy of injury, age or gender did not affect union rates or time to union. Cysts did not affect the union rate (p=0.73) but patients with cystic resorption along the fracture line required approximately 10 weeks for union (69 ± 60 days) compared to 7 weeks (51 ± 34 days) for those without cysts (p=0.05). Diabetes did not affect the union rate (p=0.81) but was found to increase the risk of delayed union (p=0.05). There was a weak, but statistically significant correlation between the number of days before the fracture was casted and the length of time needed to achieve union (r=0.27, p=0.001).
Non-displaced scaphoid waist fractures have a high healing rate with appropriate identification and immobilization. Follow-up CT scans to assess healing can identify union within a shorter time frame (~7 weeks) than previously reported in the literature.