Scaphoid fracture detection in a military population: A standardized approach for medical referral

Michael T. Burtis, John Faillace, Leslie F. Martin, Shawn Hermenau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations


Objective: The objective was to test, refine, and implement an algorithm for early detection and referral of clinical scaphoid fractures by U.S. Army medical personnel. Our goal was to reduce complications resulting from delayed diagnosis and to improve outcomes affecting soldier health and unit readiness. Methods: Data on scaphoid fractures treated in the orthopedic department at Tripler Army Medical Center were collected from January 1, 2001, through December 31, 2003. Demographic variables included gender, age, and military rank. Results: The incidence of scaphoid fractures in our population was 43 cases per 100,000 personnel per year. An algorithm to guide nonorthopedic providers was developed after review of the medical literature. Conclusion: We present an algorithm-based approach to soldiers presenting with post-traumatic wrist pain. The algorithm was fashioned with the aim of reducing complications and poor outcomes associated with delayed diagnosis of scaphoid fractures, affecting soldier health and unit readiness. A prospective study of the algorithm is underway.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)404-408
Number of pages5
JournalMilitary Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jan 1 2006
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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