Long-Term Results of Fracture of the Scaphoid. A Follow-up Study of More Than Thirty Years.

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Fifty-six patients who had had a fracture of the scaphoid from January 1950 through December 1959 were interviewed, re-examined, and had radiographs made of both hands an average of thirty-six years (range, thirty-one to forty years) later. The average age at the time of the treatment was twenty-eight years (range, fifteen to forty-five years). Fifty-two of the fifty-six patients were treated at the time of the fracture; the other four had a non-union when first seen. The rate of non-union for the fresh fractures at the most recent follow-up examination was 10 per cent (five of fifty-two).

Dorsal intercalated-segment instability was found in three of the fifty-six patients; all three had a pseudarthrosis and manifest radiocarpal osteoarthrosis. Marked radiocarpal osteoarthrosis developed in only one (2 per cent) of the forty-seven patients who had a healed fracture; it was far more common in the group that had a pseudarthrosis, in which the prevalence was five of nine patients. Manifest osteoarthrosis also seemed to be associated with pain or weakness: it had developed in only three (6 per cent) of the forty-nine patients who did not have any symptoms at the re-examination, compared with three of the seven who had symptoms.

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