Scaphoid bone - Definition

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The scaphoid bone is one of the many carpal bones that make up the wrist. The word scaphoid denotes "a boat", which describes the shape of this bone. The scaphoid is located in the first line of carpal bones on the side of the thumb, and performs an essential role in the wrist's movements. It is involved in the flexion, extension, and lateral inclination movements of the wrist. This bone is particularly fragile, and can be indirectly fractured, notably when the hand impacts on the ground during a fall. In these cases, when displacement cannot be detected by x-ray, the wrist often has to be immobilized in a cast to allow it to heal. In the past, the word scaphoid could also be used to describe a bone in the foot or one of the tarsal bones, which is now called the navicular bone.