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Bone & Joint Open
Vol. 4, Issue 8 | Pages 612 - 620
21 Aug 2023
Martin J Johnson NA Shepherd J Dias J


There is ambiguity surrounding the degree of scaphoid union required to safely allow mobilization following scaphoid waist fracture. Premature mobilization could lead to refracture, but late mobilization may cause stiffness and delay return to normal function. This study aims to explore the risk of refracture at different stages of scaphoid waist fracture union in three common fracture patterns, using a novel finite element method.


The most common anatomical variant of the scaphoid was modelled from a CT scan of a healthy hand and wrist using 3D Slicer freeware. This model was uploaded into COMSOL Multiphysics software to enable the application of physiological enhancements. Three common waist fracture patterns were produced following the Russe classification. Each fracture had differing stages of healing, ranging from 10% to 90% partial union, with increments of 10% union assessed. A physiological force of 100 N acting on the distal pole was applied, with the risk of refracture assessed using the Von Mises stress.