Management of Scaphoid Fractures in the Athlete: Open and Percutaneous Fixation

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Scaphoid fractures occur commonly in the athlete and should be treated with urgency to avoid undesired late complications. Magnetic resonance imaging may be helpful to make a prompt diagnosis so that an appropriate early treatment plan can be initiated. Cast immobilization in acute, nondisplaced scaphoid fractures seems to have an equivalent union rate to surgical modalities. Despite this, limiting the immobilization and time to union period in the athlete will allow earlier restoration of preinjury level function and eventual return to play. Percutaneous techniques with or without arthroscopy assistance have been advocated as less invasive surgical approaches that may have an added benefit in the athlete. Displaced and unstable fractures should be approached with a volar or dorsal open technique to achieve and confirm an anatomic reduction before screw placement.

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