A scoring system to demonstrate the risk for bone injury in patients with clinically suspected or occult scaphoid fracture

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Medknow Publications & Media Pvt Ltd

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Background: It is important to diagnose a scaphoid fracture accurately and start the correct treatment in the shortest time possible. However, the fracture of bone may not be visible on x-ray. In such cases, patients are clinically diagnosed with suspected or occult scaphoid fractures. The aim of this study was to define a scoring system based on physical examination to demonstrate the risk for bone injury in patients with clinically suspected and occult scaphoid fractures with negative radiographs and anatomical snuff box tenderness and to decrease the costs and workforce loss due to unnecessary treatment and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Materials and Methods: Patients were initially evaluated by the attendant orthopedic physician in the emergency service with X-ray of the wrist, and ten wrist physical examination techniques were used. The X-rays of patients were evaluated by three orthopedic surgeons. Finally sixty patients, who were diagnosed as having no fracture by all three orthopedic surgeon, were included in the study. The wrists of these patients were evaluated with MRI. Results: There were 46 male (77%) and 14 female (23%) patients with a mean age of 21.5 years (range 7-61 years). About 3.3% had triquetrum fracture, 15% had bone edema in the scaphoid and radius, 18.3% had distal radius fracture, 31.6% had scaphoid fracture, and 31.8% had no bone injury. A scoring system was also proposed. It can be predicted that in the physical examination of the wrist if the total score is higher than 6.5, the probability of fracture is 2.87 (positive likelihood ratio) fold compared to scores below 6.5. Conclusions: Proposal of this new scoring system was thought to be useful for predicting the risk for bone injury in patients with clinically suspected scaphoid fractures and making decision regarding therapeutic options.


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Bone Injury, Occult, Scaphoid Fracture, Scoring System


Indian Journal of Orthopaedics

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Gokcen, H. B., Akcal, M. A., Unay, K., Ozyurek, S., Poyanli, O., & Esenkaya, I. (2018). A Scoring System to Demonstrate the Risk for Bone Injury in Patients with Clinically Suspected or Occult Scaphoid Fracture. INDIAN JOURNAL OF ORTHOPAEDICS, 52(2), 184–189. https://doi.org/10.4103/ortho.IJOrtho_262_16