The role of radiography and bone scintigraphy in the diagnostic management of suspected scaphoid fracture is controversial. Two strategies were compared for patients with initial negative radiographs: repeated radiography versus selective bone scintigraphy. Using the known positive predictive value of scintigraphy, the sensitivity and specificity of both diagnostic strategies were evaluated in a series of 78 consecutive patients. The kappa value for initial radiographs was 0.76 but decreased to 0.5 for follow-up radiographs. Similarly, sensitivity decreased from 64% to 30% in follow-up radiographs. Specificity of the bone scan was 98%. The best diagnostic strategy in the management of clinically suspected scaphoid fractures consists of initial radiography followed by bone scintigraphy in patients with negative radiographs.