Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Int J Emerg Med. 2010 Feb 4;3(1):45-7. doi: 10.1007/s12245-009-0138-3.

Initial management of potential occult scaphoid fracture in Australasia.

Author information

  • 1Joseph Epstein Centre for Emergency Medicine Research, Western Health, Melbourne, Australia.



To characterise current management of adult patients with possible occult scaphoid fracture in Australasian emergency departments.


Internet-based survey of Directors of Emergency Medicine Training throughout Australasia. Data collected included the most common management used in ED for patients with possible occult scaphoid fracture and whether there was a guideline regarding management of such cases. Data are reported as descriptive statistics.


61 responses were received (response rate 73%). The most common management reported was immobilisation in a backslab (23, 38%) or full cast (19, 32%) with clinical assessment and re-X-ray in 7-10 days. CT scan within 7 days was used by 9 (15%), bone scan within 7 days by 6 (10%) and MRI within 7 days by 3 (5%). Very few sites were using same day/next day CT or MRI. Eighty-three percent of sites reported not having a guideline/protocol for this condition.


The traditional approach to management of possible occult scaphoid fracture of immobilisation with re-X-ray at 7-10 days remains the most commonly used in Australasia, despite evidence that this is probably over-treatment with significant consequences for patients. The place of advanced imaging for investigation of potential scaphoid fractures requires further research.


Fracture; Imaging; Management; Scaphoid

Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Springer Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk