Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Wrist FAQ

Question:

I broke a small bone in my wrist a few weeks ago. The doctor said it was the scaphoid bone near the base of my thumb. She gave me a choice between having a cast or surgery, and I chose the cast. Now I'm hearing about the stiffness and muscular problems people have after their casts come off. Did I make the wrong choice?

Answer:

You really can't go wrong with a cast. Surgery may lead to speedier healing, but it isn't for everyone. Casts are a tried-and-true way of treating a fracture of the scaphoid bone, and using a cast to heal this kind of injury rarely leads to complications. You can expect some stiffness after your cast is removed, but chances are it won't last long.

Research suggests that, whether you choose a cast or surgery, you'll have about the same wrist health after two years. A recent study showed that people who only wore casts had about the same grip strength and wrist movement two years afterward as those who had surgery. And patients in both groups were equally satisfied with their treatment. So you can put your worries to rest and let your body heal!



*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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