The Effect of FOOSH

The scaphoid is one of the eight small carpal bones that make up the wrist. It is located at the base of the thumb and at the end of the radius bone of the forearm. The function of the scaphoid is to help move and stabilize the wrist. Unfortunately, because of the bone’s position and size, it accounts for around 70 percent of carpal fractures.

When you fall onto your outstretched hand (FOOSH), it is a result of your instinct to extend the arm and break the fall with your hand to protect your head and back. Your scaphoid, the main connecting bone of your hand and forearm, is commonly affected in these situations. A FOOSH resulting in a scaphoid fracture can occur in sports, such as skating, skiing, and snowboarding, or during other activities like using a hoverboard. Repeated stress to the scaphoid, such as in gymnastics, can also result in a fracture.

When you experience a FOOSH or suspect an injury to your wrist, it is important to be seen by a doctor quickly because swelling or deformity often goes unnoticed. The fracture must be treated quickly with immobilization. Nonunion, or failure of the fracture to heal, is more likely to occur with delayed immobilization. The doctor will usually use an X-ray to diagnose a fractured scaphoid or CT or MRI scans if more information is needed. The usual treatment requires casting, but other cases may require surgery first to properly align the bones. Recovery from scaphoid fractures includes a rehabilitation program with range-of-motion and strengthening exercises to regain function.

If you believe you have experienced a scaphoid fracture or another wrist injury, request an appointment online with one of our wrist experts at The Hand & Upper Extremity Center of Georgia or call (404) 255-0226.