Cannulated Variable Pitch Compression Screw Fixation of Scaphoid Fractures Using a Limited Dorsal Approach

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Scaphoid fractures are common in the young, active patient. Treatment is challenging because of the complex three-dimensional anatomy of the scaphoid and the tenuous blood supply. Traditionally, cast immobilization has been used for the management of non-displaced fractures with satisfactory outcomes reported in the literature. However, non-surgical treatment may result in a delayed union or nonunion particularly if the fracture is unstable, displaced, or involves the proximal pole. Recently there has been increased interest in the fixation of non-displaced scaphoid fractures. The proposed advantages for operative treatment include avoiding the morbidity and inconvenience of prolonged cast immobilization and a lower incidence of delayed union or nonunion. A variety of surgical approaches for fixation of an acute scaphoid fracture have been described. The most common techniques include percutaneous fixation, arthroscopically assisted reduction and fixation, or open reduction and internal fixation via a volar approach. The senior author favors a limited dorsal approach with compression screw fixation of all proximal pole fractures as well as displaced and non-displaced fractures of the waist region. The technique is simple permitting accurate screw placement in the central axis of the scaphoid, which is biomechanically advantageous and important for achieving union.

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