Surgical treatment of pediatric scaphoid fracture nonunions

J Pediatr Orthop. 1999 Mar-Apr;19(2):236-9. doi: 10.1097/00004694-199903000-00020.


Scaphoid fractures in the pediatric population are uncommon but can usually be successfully managed with standard immobilization techniques. However, nonunions of pediatric scaphoid wrist fractures have been reported. We present the treatment and outcome of 13 pediatric scaphoid fracture nonunions in 12 children treated over an 18-year period. The average time elapsed between time of fracture and time of surgery was 16.7 months. Four of the nonunions were treated by using the Matti-Russe procedure, and nine were treated with Herbert screw fixation and iliac crest bone grafting. The average time of follow-up was 6.9 years (range, 2-19 years). All cases went on to clinical and radiographic union. There was no statistically significant difference in range of motion or strength between the operative and nonoperative wrist. Eleven of 12 patients demonstrated an excellent rating based on the Mayo Modified Wrist score. The length of time for postoperative immobilization in the Herbert screw group was significantly less than that in the Matti-Russe group. Currently our standard approach to the treatment of scaphoid fracture nonunions in the skeletally immature patient is the use of the Herbert screw and iliac crest bone graft.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Carpal Bones / diagnostic imaging
  • Carpal Bones / injuries*
  • Child
  • Female
  • Fractures, Bone / diagnostic imaging
  • Fractures, Bone / physiopathology
  • Fractures, Bone / surgery*
  • Hand Strength
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Radiography
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Wrist Joint / physiopathology