European Radiology

, Volume 17, Issue 11, pp 2860–2871

The role of MR imaging in scaphoid disorders

  • Apostolos Karantanas
  • Zoe Dailiana
  • Konstantinos Malizos

DOI: 10.1007/s00330-007-0624-z

Cite this article as:
Karantanas, A., Dailiana, Z. & Malizos, K. Eur Radiol (2007) 17: 2860. doi:10.1007/s00330-007-0624-z


The scaphoid bone of the wrist is one of the most commonly fractured bones in the body. Due to its importance in the biomechanics and functionality of the wrist, it is important to depict and characterize the type of injury. Plain radiographs and scintigraphy may fail to disclose the type and severity of the injury. In patients with normal initial plain radiographs, MR imaging can discriminate occult fractures from bone bruises and may also demonstrate ligamentous disruption. MR imaging can also discriminate the proximal pole viability versus avascular necrosis secondary to previous fracture, which is important for treatment planning. Treatment of non-united fractures with vascularized grafts can be evaluated with contrast-enhanced MR imaging. Idiopathic osteonecrosis or Preiser’s disease was originally described after trauma. The non-traumatic disorders of the scaphoid include post-traumatic osteoarthritis, inflammatory bone marrow edema in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, and osteomyelitis. MR imaging is helpful in all the above disorders to demonstrate early bone marrow edema, cartilage degeneration and associated subchondral marrow changes. The most commonly found tumors in the scaphoid are usually benign and include enchondroma, osteoblastoma and osteoid osteoma. MR imaging is not mandatory for the initial diagnosis, which should be based on plain X-ray findings.


Scaphoid disordersX-ray/diagnosisMR imaging/diagnosisFracturesFractures/complicationsOsteonecrosisVascularized grafts/surgery

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Apostolos Karantanas
    • 1
    • 3
  • Zoe Dailiana
    • 2
  • Konstantinos Malizos
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Radiology, Medical SchoolUniversity of CreteHeraklionGreece
  2. 2.Department of Orthopedic Surgery, School of Health SciencesUniversity of ThessalyLarissaGreece
  3. 3.Department of RadiologyUniversity HospitalStavrakiaGreece