Skeletal radiology 2017 11 16() doi 10.1007/s00256-017-2814-3
The scaphoid is the most commonly fractured carpal bone. The presence of a concomitant hook of hamate fracture is of particular relevance given that it is often occult on routine wrist/scaphoid radiographs and that hook of hamate fractures are prone to symptomatic non-union, resulting in chronic ulnar wrist pain. Prompt diagnosis and immobilisation/fixation may minimise such complications. Our study is aimed at assessing the frequency of concomitant hook of hamate fractures in patients with scaphoid fractures.
Hook of hamate fracture is often occult on wrist/scaphoid radiographs. Hence, we identified all 2,568 CT and MRI studies performed to investigate scaphoid fracture at our institution from April 2005 to March 2016. Three hundred and twelve out of 2,568 cases were confirmed to have a scaphoid fracture. Images were then retrospectively reviewed by a Consultant Musculoskeletal Radiologist and Musculoskeletal Radiologist Trainee to assess for the presence of concomitant hook of hamate fracture and, if present, whether this was identified on initial reporting.
Concomitant hook of hamate fracture was identified in 10.3% of cases (32 out of 312, 30 on CT, 2 on MRI); most were minimally/non-displaced. Sixty percent of fractures identified on CT were missed on the initial review (18 out of 30). Both cases identified on MRI had been initially reported.
Scaphoid fracture is associated with higher than expected rates of concomitant hook of hamate fracture. Given the potential morbidity associated with hook of hamate fracture, this should be considered a review area when investigating scaphoid injury. These fractures are often minimally displaced, hence easily overlooked on CT. MRI may therefore be superior when investigating radiographically occult scaphoid fractures.