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Scaphoid fracture (tarsal)


A fracture of the scaphoid tarsal affects the bones of the inner part of the foot. The tarsal navicular bone articulates in conjunction with several other tarsal bones. Subject to much wear and tear when walking, running or jumping, the scaphoid is even more exposed in athletes (high jumpers, sprinters). However, a fracture of the scaphoid is relatively rare: it is usually called a stress fracture, a fracture that occurs due to intense and repetitive strain.


In the case of a scaphoid fracture, the patient feels pain in the back of his foot, and thus has trouble moving it. It is also difficult, if not impossible, to put pressure on the broken foot. A hematoma and edema, a swelling of the injured area, may be visible in the event of a sudden fracture. Deformation can be seen in some cases.


The diagnosis of a scaphoid fracture of the foot, or fracture of the navicular bone, is based on the presence of clinical signs (mentioned above) in the context of trauma or major stress on the foot in question. A radiological examination - a CT scan, an MRI or scintigraphy - will confirm the presence of a tarsal scaphoid fracture.


The treatment of a scaphoid fracture consists of putting a cast on the foot to prevent it from moving. Surgery is only for patients who have suffered a major bone movement. In this case, the foot is blocked and the installation of pins and screws is essential. The patient is put to bedrest for several weeks with instructions not to press on or use their foot. Once the patient is able to walk again, the use of crutches is imperative as a measure of rehabilitation. In the most severe cases, treatment consists of fusion with a bone graft.


The only preventive measure is disputed and consists of using special insoles for high level athletes exposed to this kind of fracture.

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