Scaphoid fractures are the most common fractures of the carpus, accounting for 79% of all carpal fractures. Early diagnosis of scaphoid fractures is imperative owing to potential complications following the fracture, including non-union, avascular necrosis, carpal instability and osteoarthritis. Plain radiography remains the initial imaging modality to assess scaphoid fractures. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is excellent in the detection of clinically suspected, but initially radiographically negative, scaphoid fractures. Cost-effectiveness analysis studies have demonstrated MRI is effective in this setting. Gadolinium enhanced MRI has been shown to be superior to unenhanced MRI in the detection of avascular necrosis. Computerized tomography scan is the preferred modality to assess the intricacies of scaphoid fracture, including fracture location and deformity, as well as union status. This review paper explores the recent advances in imaging of the scaphoid, with reference also to avascular necrosis and non-union following a scaphoid fracture.
- Avascular necrosis