Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Hand FAQ


My daughter broke her scaphoid bone in her hand but she says that she didn't fall very hard. How does the bone break?


The scaphoid is the bone that is below the thumb. If you spread out your hand, you maybe able to see its outline. It's one of the largest bones in the hand, but that's not saying much because the hand bones are quite small. The most common way to break this bone is to fall and stop your fall with your hand spread out, palm side down. At this point, the bones in the hand take the weight of the fall. The fall doesn't have to be hard, it just needs to have enough force and be at the right angle to break the bone. Since this is a common fracture from falls, experts are recommending that children who skateboard and do similar activities wear wrist guards to help absorb the weight of the fall, reducing the fracture risk. Bertil Vinnars, MD, et al. Nonoperative Compared with Operative Treatment of Acute Scaphoid Fractures. In The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery. June 2008. Volume 90. No. 6. Pp. 1176-1185.

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