Outcomes of open reduction and internal fixation of acute proximal pole scaphoid fractures

David M. Brogan, Steven L. Moran, Alexander Y. Shin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Background: Proximal pole scaphoid fractures are less common than waist fractures, and successful management can be difficult. We hypothesize that time to union is increased by delays in surgical fixation, greater initial displacement, and higher energy mechanisms of injury. Methods: A retrospective review was conducted of all patients undergoing open reduction internal fixation (ORIF) of acute proximal pole scaphoid fractures at our institution over a 19-year period. A review of clinical as well as radiographic data was undertaken. The mechanism of injury, patient demographics, timing of surgery, initial displacement, fixation method, smoking status, and lunate morphology were recorded. Functional outcome measures were recorded when available. Univariate analysis using Kaplan-Meier survival curves was performed. Results: A total of 10 out of 23 patients (43 %) showed evidence of union at 14 weeks post-injury. Rates of early union were higher in non-displaced fractures (70 %) when compared to displaced fractures (23 %). Similarly, fractures sustained via low energy mechanisms had a higher rate of early union compared to high energy mechanisms (69 versus 10 %). A delay in ORIF did not appear to influence rate of union. Conclusions: Initial displacement and mechanism of injury have the most significant effects on early rates of union. Delay in ORIF of up to 28 days did not affect the rate of initial union, but the authors recommend early fixation of these fractures to prevent further displacement. Patients with widely displaced fractures or those with high energy mechanisms should be counseled regarding prolonged healing time.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)227-232
Number of pages6
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015


  • ORIF
  • Proximal pole
  • Scaphoid fracture


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