Archives of Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery

, Volume 130, Issue 9, pp 1117–1127 | Cite as

Acute non-displaced fractures of the scaphoid: earlier return to activities after operative treatment. A controlled multicenter cohort study

  • Michael Schädel-HöpfnerEmail author
  • Marta Marent-Huber
  • Emre Gazyakan
  • Karin Tanzer
  • Klaus D. Werber
  • Hartmut R. Siebert
Orthopaedic Surgery



To investigate whether operative treatment leads to earlier return to previous activity level, 94 patients with the same number of isolated, acute, complete, stable and non-displaced fractures of the scaphoid mid-third were involved in a prospective, multicenter cohort study.


Fractures were either fixed with a cannulated screw or immobilized with a short arm cast, and followed for 6 months.


By 15 weeks, patients receiving surgical treatment returned significantly earlier to their full time work and home activities, as well as achieved significantly better results for functional status, pain, and overall satisfaction. However, complication rates concerning union and secondary operative management were higher.


Operative treatment therefore primarily facilitates earlier return to previous activity level, as well as better functional status, less pain and higher patient satisfaction, yet conservative treatment seems to be safer and associated with a lower complication rate.


Scaphoid fracture Operative treatment Convervative treatment Return to activities Return to work 



The authors would like to thank all participating study centers and the following lead clinical investigators for their dedication in conducting this study: T. Pillukat (Bad Neustadt), A. Eisenschenk (Berlin), K.H. Winker (Erfurt), G. Böhringer (Giessen), J.M. Rueger (Hamburg), H. Towfigh (Hamm), R. Arora (Innsbruck), E. Brück (Marburg), K. D. Werber (München), R. Slodicka (Rosenheim).

Furthermore, the authors would like to thank L. Audigé (AOCID) for statistical advice and M. Wilhelmi (AOCID) and D. De Faoite (AOCID) for linguistic review.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Schädel-Höpfner
    • 1
    Email author
  • Marta Marent-Huber
    • 2
  • Emre Gazyakan
    • 3
  • Karin Tanzer
    • 4
  • Klaus D. Werber
    • 5
  • Hartmut R. Siebert
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of Trauma and Hand SurgeryUniversity HospitalDüsseldorfGermany
  2. 2.AO Clinical Investigation and DocumentationDübendorfSwitzerland
  3. 3.Department of Hand, Plastic, and Reconstructive Surgery, Burn Center, BG Trauma CentreUniversity of HeidelbergLudwigshafenGermany
  4. 4.Department for TraumatologyMedical University GrazGrazAustria
  5. 5.Department of Hand SurgeryMunich Technical University, Hospital rechts der IsarMünchenGermany
  6. 6.Department of Hand-, Plastic- and Trauma SurgeryDiakonie-Klinikum Schwäbisch HallSchwäbisch HallGermany

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